Quizzing the Port of London Authority

Go into City Hall to Chair the Transport Committee this morning. This morning we have the Port Authority of London coming to give evidence to the committee.

This little known authority is independent and self-financing – but as it has power over our waterway, the Thames, we wanted to put them into the public arena. As they emerged from the shadows of privacy – I am not sure what they made of their grilling.

The key charges against the authority (who everyone acknowledges do a good job on the whole) is that the Board is entirely white, middle-aged men and that their interest lies in the commercial – and not the community needs of the people who want to use the Thames for leisure, passenger transport etc.

Their argument was that it was skills that were needed at Board level that guided their choice of member. Given the hoo-ha from those having extreme difficulty engaging with them or getting them to focus on community priorities, it would seem that the one skill they didn’t think they needed was someone on the board who understood and would champion and drive forward the community agenda.

Followed by an interview by the Senior Salaries Review Board who were asking three ‘chairs’ of London Assembly committees what we thought about our roles, our workload and our salary.

Then back to Hornsey & Wood Green to knock on more sheltered housing doors. Have to do it during the day – as the elderly are very nervous once the evening draws on.

Pop round to see Andy Kershaw who is going to endorse me. Andy is passionate about defeating a pro-war MP. He has taped the Paxman interview with Blair which he plays to me and Neil (my agent). Andy is right – the one thing Paxman fails to ask is why Blair went to war at that point in time as opposed to before or waiting.

The evening is door knocking in Hornsey ward. Very warm on the doorsteps – and this even in one of the minority of wards which don’t have a Lib Dem councillor. Once again, see very little of Labour or Tory leaflets or canvassing. Most people say they’ve seen and heard plenty of my campaign but nothing of Labour. Good sign – and I’m sure due in large part to our Labour MP’s ultra-loyalist voting record, which has put off many Labour activists (not just Iraq, but tuition fees, PFI, foundation hospitals etc).