Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is this democracy in action?

I took my father to Public Questions at the Council (18.07.11.) At the end of the 15 minute session, Mr A I Khan observed, "That's it. All done. You ask your valid question and you get a rubbish reply - well done, thank you very much, you live in a democracy."

Pertinent questions covering Planning Applications, David Lean Cinema and libraries were asked from the public gallery, and each one received a reply......a bunch of words strung into a couple of sentences......just that.

My supplementary question to the above reply was as follows:

"Thank you Councillor Thomas for your reply. Last week my colleagues and I in the Green Party demonstrated outside the Public Hearing for the South London Waste Plan in Merton. I have a copy of the Plan here [waves plan at councillors]. It has ninety four pages. There are also hundreds of pages of appendages. My question is this: Given the profound implications for health, future budgets and the environment, how many councillors have actually read the Plan. And, if you have not read the Plan, who has read the Plan to ensure the views and concerns of the people and communities in Croydon are being represented?"

Councillor Thomas' rejoinder was was just as non-nonsensical and meaningless as the others that preceded it. I can't remember it exactly but it was along the lines of:

"I think Mr Khan already knows my reply. We are the middle of a process and we can't say or do anything that will jeopardise this until the process has run its course."

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Standing up for what matters