I got to the Town Hall at 4pm to witness the inauguration of the new councillors. I was so pleased, it was a "proper" do with photos and certificates and a bit of a fuss. Just what I felt was lacking last year and I was very pleased that the Committee Services staff took this on board and sorted it out.
We then had a photo taken of all the Labour Group women together (less a few on holiday).
There was a big protest outside the Town Hall when I arrived, the care workers chanting "We care, so should you" about their cut in wages after they have been told they cannot claim travelling time any more, only time spent with the people they visit. A total disgrace. This LibDem council has done some terrible things with Adult Services, this is just another example.
They were there because it was the annual council meeting tonight, where the councillors elect their new Lord Mayor (who has always been the Deputy Lord Mayor in the previous year) and their new Deputy of the same, ready for next year. (Steve Rotheram, Labour Cllr for Fazakerley will be Lord Mayor next May, half way through the year of culture, following LibDem Paul Clarke).
It is a meeting in two parts, first the ceremonial business and then, after a break, a few bits of business and some formalities about who the Libdems have chosen for their chairs of committees, cabinet members, reps on outside bodies etc.
The main items of interest were that Cllr Steve Radford has become chair of the select committee I sit on, in place of Josie Mullen. I liked working with Josie, I hope Steve is as independent as she was, I suppose it is his prize for the deal he did with them over K&F and Clubmoor. Ironically the deal didnt work for either of them.
The LibDems have put forward that they want both places on the Kensington Regeneration Board again this year, despite having only four of the nine councillors that cover the area. If this is their idea of Liberal Democracy then I can only marvel.
Just a warning though guys, if you insist on this, we will make absolutely sure that every single resident in the area knows how little you think of them and their votes over the last two elections. And the challenges to the decisions and actions of the organisation will be much more direct and focussed than they have been. I sense a rash of FOI questions on their way. I shall also want to know why the minutes are not on the website any more and why the meetings are not advertised properly in advance and lots of other similar things. The bullying will also be challenged. Community involvement? Not so that you would notice.
We were all deeply disappointed that Councillor Warren Bradley, the Libdem leader with a majority in free-fall, chose to poke fun at Councillor Ann O'Byrne on this her very first meeting and at a time when everyone was falling over themselves to be non-partisan. Why would the leader of a leading British city think that was a suitable way to conduct himself?
For the record, he stopped mid-speech about neighbourhood committees to ask Ann if she was falling asleep. She apparently yawned, he should be used to that, most of us yawn at his contributions. But it was definitely not "cricket" for him to "name" her in that way and draw attention to her at this mainly ceremonial event. A really unsafe pair of hands if you ask me.
After the meeting we had the mayor-making meal upstairs in the town hall. Very pleasant evening, I am always amused as those of our members who like to chat with their members come back and report the conversations.
Apparently Frank Doran thinks I am in a weird religious sect - so it is him then that has been leaving all those weird posts on the blog. For the record Frank, the methodists are about as least weird as you can get, and certainly not a sect.
He also evidently calls Wendy, Claire and me the "Witches of Eastwick". I suppose that means he has found out about the dolls we have with pins stuck in them, and our late night meetings on the heath with our cauldrons, all part of the plotting to get rid of him and his friends. Be afraid, be very afraid. (Silly man).