Pssst: Don’t mention the housing allocation policy…
THERE is talk that the whips in Camden’s Labour group have got backs up inside the team after trying to steer members away from asking certain questions about sensitive changes to housing policies. Before last night’s full council meeting was cancelled. so councillors could rally for Scotland in Trafalgar Square, a little email to and fro was going on behind the scenes. Scrutiny chairman Meric Apak had suggested questions might be asked about a future review of council house allocations policy, which there have been mentions about here and there about in recent weeks.
The likely discussion ahead includes a debate on whether people should retain housing points granted for the length of time they’ve spent on the waiting list, and whether proven Camden residents should have greater priority to the accommodation that does come available. The email exchange, seen by all of Labour’s councillors, shows the whips Adam Harrison and Roger Robinson asking for the subject to be avoided at full council until the group had talked privately together about it, and Meric sounding quite hurt.
ADAM EMAILS MERIC BACK: ‘GETTING AHEAD OF OURSELVES’
ROGER AGREES WITH ADAM: ‘CAN YOU REVISE THESE QUESTIONS’
MERIC SOUNDS CONFUSED THAT HE HAS CAUSED A PROBLEM: ‘THE LAST THING I EXPECTED’
Scrutiny is meant to be Quasi Judicial ? – Meric is being whipped ; why ??
Another example of Labour breaking the rules. Scrutiny committees should never be whipped. A referral to the Standards Committee is needed to investigate why whips were trying to stifle debate, and trying to control the legitimate concerns of a scrutiny chair.