Naming buildings

Back into City Hall to catch up on correspondence etc. Sally Hamwee says that during Mayor’s Question Time (which I’d missed with my back trouble) she asked my question to the Mayor and said that it was his Christmas present that I was not there to irritate him. He rejoined with ‘that depends what she’s up to’!

Last meeting of the Met Police Authority before the break. Big issue of the day is the naming of the three new buildings that house the new call centre system – C3I. Suggestion that went to committee was to name them John Stevens, Paul Condon and Toby Harris. Whilst the first two – after commissioners – went through finance committee, the third stuck in everyone’s throat. Toby Harris was the first chair of the MPA – but as he lost his seat at the election and does not garner universal respect and admiration and came back as an “independent” appointee of the Home Secretary – it’s a no no.

So it came to full authority. An interesting bit is the equality impact statement on the paper which says the practise of naming buildings after policemen means that inevitably all buildings will be named after white men and so needs review. I say do it now. As everyone seems keen on Sir John, the argument is over the other two. Of course, women and ethnic minorities don’t figure to date.

Cindy Butts suggests Nick Long for the Lambeth Building – but others don’t feel it should be named after any MPA member. Cindy’s devotion to Nick is admirable – but living idols can fall from grace. It could have been the Blunkett building – and then where would we be.

The Chair calls for suggestions to be decided later etc. Poor old Toby – not nice to find such universal agreement cross party and independents that it shouldn’t be named after him.