Political

Gary Malcolm: a great example of an opposition councillor at work

Many residents in Ealing suffered from a rubbish non-collection fiasco in April, since when Lib Dem councillor Gary Malcolm has been beavering away at the issue, pushing for proper accountability for the mistakes and for lessons to be learnt rather than swept under the carpet.

During the process he’s consistently used his blog to keep residents informed, as with his latest post:

The discussion started at about 8.30pm and I spoke up about the reasons why my party, the Liberal Democrats, got the item added to the agenda:
1. There are many questions that still need to be answered
2. Enterprise, the contractor, have been present but not been able to say anything publicly. It is crucial that we hear what they have to say on this issue.
3. And probably the most important we need changes in processes so that the same fiasco cannot occur again

I likened this to the IT disaster a few years ago when the Conservative Party were in power in Ealing. The problems occurred because they failed to invest in the Council’s IT. That cost the Council £1.1 million pounds of extra spending!

I presented the scrutiny panel with three suggested recommendations…

The Conservative party had also wanted to discuss the issue but sadly they did not offer any proposals and appeared to use the discussion as a chance to act rather “party political” and not put forward any recommendations like I did.

In fact when I spoke towards the end of the meeting it was clear that even the Conservative Councillors on the committee did not seem to think the Conservative councillor who raised his issues was worth supporting. When it came to voting, the scrutiny panel agreed to my three proposals. The Conservative who raised his issues, shrunk and disappeared quickly when his viewpoints were not accepted.

Opposition is not about slagging off the administration, even if they are doing a bad job. It is the role of opposition to come up with alternative plans as the Liberal Democrats did today.

More details in the full post on Cllr Gary Malcolm’s blog.

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