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Did council meeting cost more than 400 a minute?

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Monday 23 June 2014 10.15am
Sheila, as far as I know, "best value" prevails in the local authority realm. No one is suggesting meetings do not take place, just that 12,500 to convene one is exorbitant and is not representative of the best value test. In his role "running" the council, I urge him - and I'm sure I speak for others here - to take very urgent steps to reduce the profligate expenditure incurred on these meetings.
Monday 23 June 2014 10.25am
Part of the issue is that the council no longer has its own purpose-built chamber / large auditorium suitable for full council meetings, since disposing of the Peckham Road town hall for redevelopment.

Hopefully the rebuilding of the old town hall in Walworth Road will provide a space that's big enough for the full council as well as being suitable for other meetings/performances/events.

Although the cost per meeting of using the Tooley Street atrium is steep, it's probably cheaper than some of the other options.

It's also worth noting that most council assembly meetings are held in school halls around the borough - it's just the more technical/administrative ones (the annual meeting and the budget-setting) that use the Tooley Street atrium.

The other question is the particular way that the three annual civic meetings/ceremonies (the civic awards, the mayor-making and the council annual meeting) were arranged this year.

Previously the civic awards were a stand-alone event with the mayor-making and the council annual meeting held together as two parts of one evening.

This year the civic awards and the mayor-making were group together, which seemed to work OK (and according to the council saved money).

The problem was that it left the final part of the annual formalities as a rather pointless and expensive 30-minute meeting.

As well as the cost and inconvenience of rigging up all the equipment in the Tooley Street atrium, it was scarcely worth all the councillors being there. No doubt many of them had to make childcare arrangements etc, and it was a bit silly for a meeting where only four people spoke and everyone knew in advance (almost all of) what was being announced.

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Monday 23 June 2014 1.36pm
sheila Taylor wrote:
Are the LibDems suggesting that Peter John should be allowed to run Southwark for the next 4 years without any public accountability?

That is pretty much what he has been doing in the past 4 years and will continue doing over the next 4 years.

The so-called Democracy Commission meant to bridge the gap between the council and the residents of Southwark and improve accountability ended up into a walk-out by the opposition.

Planing decisions that were taken at the ward level have been moved to the council level because local councilors obviously "do not have the big picture" (Cllr John's own words).

Even better, planing decisions are now being taken even before opposition councilors have been given the opportunity to state their case and the new chair of the planing committee does not see what could be wrong with that.

Agreement are being signed with property developers whose terms are kept secret and not opened to public scrutiny or accountability (since you seen fond of the word).

You really have a strange notion of what "local democracy" mean.

Can't wait for my free swimming pass and brand new kitchen to sooth things over.
Monday 23 June 2014 2.58pm
The same complaining about the cost of meetings now under the Labour administration complained about the meetings under the Lib Dem administration and when the staff tried to cut costs, especially catering costs, the piggies liked their troughs too much and didn't want the officers to cut the catering costs etc. They are all greedy!

One Riverside Cllr who claimed to be diabetic would take food home with her!
Monday 23 June 2014 3.23pm
I'd take some home too. It must be fine food.
Monday 23 June 2014 6.25pm
I am unaffiliated to any party, and consider myself a free thinker.

I feel it is ridiculous that LBS' sell-off policies have resulted it it being deprived of a permanent, purpose built debating chamber.

The costs associated with renting out spaces from schools and other places, as well as those incurred in temporarily turning the Tooley Street atrium into a chamber are unacceptable and do not result in the lasting legacy the Borough would have if it built a new chamber (or, as James H suggests, refurbishing the fire damaged one at the old Town Hall on the Walworth Road.

What if Westminster had not been restored following its WWII bombing damage? Would MPs and Lords be meeting in the gym of some school?

As for catering costs, these would be greatly reduced if meals were prepared in house rather than ordered from an external catering firm.
Monday 23 June 2014 8.37pm
Labour Party "family" groupthinkers will consider 400 a minute a BARGAIN to listen to our Dear Leader, Inheritance Tax Barrister Cllr John.

In their defence Southwark Labour made a principle that has just be re-endorsed by winning an election:

"Spending money as if it were coming from our own pocket"

And note, not "from your pocket"

Their ridiculous spending reflects the principle that people voted for.

The suggestion that Barrister John accepts bribes is ridiculous. Peter declares gifts and hospitality etc. on the Council's website. These jolly flipperies and fooleries are just harmless grooming by business.

This is all rather different to North Korea and Kim Jong-un. Because to stay in power Kim has to GIVE hospitality, trinkets and tokens of appreciation rather than receive.

Kim has too keep the military happy whereas our Dear Leader is the recipient of joy from our kind benevolent partners, the property developers.

Fortunately most Southwark Councillors wisely stay well clear of the freebies.
Monday 23 June 2014 8.52pm
I'll get suspicious when Mr John plays a round of golf in 38 with 11 holes in one!
Tuesday 24 June 2014 6.17am
Wasn't he voted "Sexiest Man Alive for 2012"?
Tuesday 24 June 2014 10.59am
Really? By who? Must have been the kind of people who are impeached for war crimes, those who amassed fortunes of property "serving the people" and then of course, need inheritance tax advice to lawfully avoid paying taxes when passing on their wealth.

I heard Peter is going to be on Big Brother Channel 5 however this cannot be true.

I think the Lib Dems and UKIP shadow voted for Peter to be Leader because it helps them win in 2015 on the doorstep. "Free swimming - they lied". "Free gym - they lied" "New Council homes - not you". New kitchen and bathroom - it's a "thirty year housing strategy"

What joy for the LDs!
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