The Labour Group put forward a re-worded version of
It obviously stood no chance of adoption because it told too many truths, but full marks
to them for trying.
Tory Motion amended by Labour. Click for a plain copy.
Unfortunately it did nothing but provide the Nasty Party with the opportunity for more arrogance and boasting and
rubbing Labour’s nose into their election defeat in May.
Labour Leader Daniel Francis (Belvedere) began proceedings by complaining that Councillors had not been pre-briefed on what The Bexley Deal was.
“This Conservative administration is starting in the same arrogant way it always has, ignoring residents who voted for alternative candidates and refusing to allow the opposition to be briefed on new policy or be involved in the process. Tonight is an attempt to bounce all Members into a position where you can say for the next four years, Well you voted for it.”
“Labour Members will not be bounced into something where the detail is vague and a briefing is not forthcoming. It disrespects all our residents. Both the 37% who voted for Labour candidates and those who voted Conservative on a Manifesto which does not feature the words Bexley Deal let alone what it might mean. Our best guess is that it is an attempt to deliver a party corporate plan which will change the face of local government in this borough.”
“Does it mean that in areas where residents have little spare time to volunteer because of work commitments, the Council will allow that part of the borough to decline?” (Paraphrased severely.)
“How much of the current service and investment delivered by the Council are we being asked to put to the voluntary sector? Again we have no details. Voluntary groups already say we are working to capacity as it is.”
“Ultimately [speaking of carers etc.] the work will go back to the family. Your government is making you wage war on those who need our help the most.”
Councillor Francis asked for The Bexley Deal to be referred to Scrutiny so that the detail could be explored.
The amended Motion was seconded by Councillor Stefano Borella (Slade Green & Northend) who catalogued various budget cuts which the Conservatives had portrayed as service improvements and he too requested The Bexley Deal be referred to a Scrutiny Committee. “What happened to the recent review to encourage better Scrutiny? It has been torn up.” The question went unanswered.
Stefano ended by saying “It is a very poorly thought out policy”.
Cabinet Member Peter Craske quickly rose to his feet because apart from blogging he enjoys nothing more than sticking his knife into Councillor Francis.
He had “run an election campaign running down our borough and without a positive vision”. His own party, by contrast had “won a fourth landslide election victory with a 55% vote share. We delivered in full and will [again] over the next four years”.
Labour tells voters “this is an awful place to live when it is one of the best places in the country. Labour are miseries”.
No one else wished to speak and the revised Motion was thrown out. Councillor Leader Teresa O’Neill didn’t think that Councillor Craske had rubbed quite enough salt into Labour’s wounds so vigorously shook the cellar again.
First she said that her two little creeps, Councillors Wildman and Diment were “fantastic” and she was proud of them. Petty minded to the nth degree, she corrected Councillor Wildman’s calculation that the Conservatives had won 75% of seats, “it was a tad more”. (75·5%.)
It had nothing to do with the matter in hand but she said the election campaign “was an absolute delight and it was fantastic. The opposition? Well they spun it didn’t they? Scare stories all over the place which were absolute rubbish.”
Councillor Borella objected to the Leader’s claim that his party leafleted about building on Danson Park but the Mayor rejected his point of order.
Cabinet Member Philip Read said it was “another pointless point of order on their part”.
The Leader continued with her limited lexicon. “We believe that Bexley is a fantastic place to work, live and play. It is a bit rich for the opposition to be talking about cuts when we invested in our borough and they voted against it.”
The election result “shows our residents trust us, it showed our residents got it. We’ve got the mandate and that is fantastic.” Councillor Francis’s prediction that Teresa the Abuser would say “well you voted for it” took just 16 minutes and 40 seconds to come to fruition.
“The opposition thought they would win 22 seats instead of the eleven they got” and with that she produced two yellow rubber ducks “to represent them for the next four years”.
The vague and woolly Motion was carried with, needless to say, votes dividing precisely upon party lines.