After councillors’ questions was wound up
the 4th November council meeting Agenda moved to Motions.
I’ve never seen the point of motions. When they are on national issues no one outside Bexley is going to take any notice and people within the borough are powerless, so it’s all hot air.
If the motion is on a local issue why just talk about it? Depending on the circumstances, put up a plaque, print some diplomas, send out a letter, cast a medal, throw a party. Do something that will be noticed. Raising a few hands to back a few fine words does nothing for me.
But I must be wrong because last Wednesday, councillor Rob Leitch (Conservative, Sidcup) was the Man with the Motion and as he has proved himself to be an all round good egg, I must assume that Motions have something going for them which are beyond my limited comprehension.
Rob’s Motion was…
…and he spoke on the subject without hesitation, deviation or too much repetition for eight minutes and twenty five seconds and wasn’t interrupted.
He concluded by saying he hoped for support from all parts of the chamber.
Councillor Caroline Newton (Conservative, St. Michael’s) - now there’s a name that you don’t see often on Bonkers (†) - said she would second the Motion. You wouldn’t think that would take long but Caroline managed to spin it out over five minutes before the Mayor asked her to wind up, which she did instantly.
Councillor Cafer Munur (Conservative, East Wickham) felt bound to get in on the act. He droned on for just over four minutes piling one good educational statistic on top of another. Surely everyone had got the point by now?
When he finished, councillor Abena Oppong-Asare (Labour, Erith) put forward an amendment. Did she have a spanner to throw into the works but when the ever helpful Dave Easton handed me a copy it looked entirely reasonable to me. It added School Support Staff to the list of those to be congratulated.
Would the Tories be stupid enough to throw it out? They usually do. But it was Rob Leitch’s Motion and he graciously accepted the amendment which spiked even the most irresponsible of Tory guns.
Hence the picture below, a first. All the hands, Conservative, Labour and UKIP raised in agreement.
Twenty seven minutes and forty seven seconds after announcing that 30 minutes would be allowed for the Motion, the Mayor said that the time allowed was expired, but nevertheless invited Cabinet Member for Education, John Fuller, to speak over the time limit - except that it wasn’t over the time limit. Mayor Camsey has difficulty with clocks.
In the event John Fuller spoke right up to the 31 minute mark, or maybe 33 and a bit minutes if you are on Camsey Time.
Rob Leitch is a teacher at a local comprehensive school.
† Last mentioned in February 2014 - and that is just about it!