Labour resist transparency in H&F after false Council minutes are approved

Trust in Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s procedures has hit a new low – sunlight would be the best disinfectant but there is a determined effort to remain in the dark.

There was a Council Meeting on January 26th where Andrew Johnson asked the following Public Question:

“Q When LBHF entered into 50/50 joint venture with Stanhope in March 2014 to deliver hundreds of new homes across the borough, it was envisaged that planning applications to re-develop both Watermeadow Court and Edith Summerskill House would be submitted within 12 months. Yet nearly two years later, these sites stand empty and bricked-up, with no applications having been submitted. Since he formed his administration in May 2014, can he confirm when he, or any member of his cabinet, last attended a board meeting of the joint venture?”

Cllr Andrew Jones, the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, gave a reply with false information – for which he apologised at a subsequent Cabinet Meeting.

However the Minutes of the meeting give a quite different wording of his reply to one he actually gave. Even when this falsification was pointed out the Labour councillors still voted through the Minutes as a “true and accurate record”. A quite staggering and blatant contempt for truth.

Fortunately the record of what Cllr Jones actually said is available on the Council website by listening to the audio of the meeting.

Since the minutes can no longer be trusted it seems to me all the more important that the audio should be made available for committee meetings. The Council Cabinet Meetings are already recorded so why not put the audio on the website?

I had already called for this. On January 4th Kayode Adewumi, the Council’s Head of Governance and Scrutiny responded:

“I am consulting the Administration whether they want to change the current practice.”

Then this morning there was some breaking news. He emailed:

“The policy remains still subject to review and no further update is available.”

Make of that what will you will. I take it as a “No.” Labour don’t want the audio on the website as hey won’t to be able to cover up their mistakes from Council Taxpayers who pay the price.

The emails above merely show they can’t even bring themselves to be transparent a about their opposition to transparency,