Vote ” a distraction” – Cllr Curran
Labour councillors unanimously voted down the Conservative opposition’s vote of no confidence against the Leader of Hounslow council Steve Curran at the Council meeting on Tuesday 10 November.
Speaking to The Chiswick Calendar, Steve Curran said the Conservative councillors who brought the motion were “just grand-standing and playing politics” and that they had “done a disservice to the people of Chiswick and the people of Hounslow when they should be concentrating on the Covid emergency”.
Hounslow has one of the highest levels of Covid in London and has already lost thousands of jobs because of its impact. “Instead of concentrating on the thousands of vulnerable people we have to look after” he said, they had created “a distraction for officers and for the administration”.
Labour has 50 seats to the Conservatives’ 10, so the result of the vote was widely regarded as a foregone conclusion, but the Conservative group had hoped a Labour councillor would break ranks and challenge Steve Curran for leadership. In the event, the only councillors to vote in favour of the vote of no confidence were the nine Conservative councillors present (Cllr Patrick Barr was absent).
When The Chiswick Calendar broke the vote of no confidence story a week ago, Leader of the Conservative group Gerald McGregor told us Chiswick’s councillors were challenging Steve Curran on ‘his reckless disregard of local residents and retailers, their neighbourhoods and livelihoods, and their views’. More than 3,000 people have watched the Council meeting on the council’s Youtube channel.
“Shambles” of Chiswick street scene – Cllr McGregor
Introducing the motion, Gerald McGregor said the motion was “due to a constitutional anomaly”. His real target, he said was the Cabinet Members whose decisions were opposed by the Conservative group, who were being “sheltered” by the Council Leader.
“The Leader of the council is elected by the borough council at the beginning of a four year Council session. This is the ‘strong leader’ concept of local government. The ‘strong leader’ shelters Cabinet members who are appointed by the Leader and not elected by the Chamber. It is for this reason our attempts to censure Cllr Khan (Cabinet Member for Transport), Cllr Lambert and Cllr Dunne were unavailing”.
Queen “marooned” in Chiswick High Rd
He went on to give the Queen as the reason for the vote of no confidence, as the Queen’s cavalcade of cars got stuck in traffic in Chiswick High Rd last week.
“It was a piece of good fortune that we had something happen last week. We have relied on Her Majesty the Queen, our Sovereign, our Head of State, Head of the House of Windsor, the love for many years, and like the Leader, she ‘don’t need no lessons’ in how to behave. But why should she be marooned by traffic in our home town of Chiswick? We know the answer, and it’s a lesson that needs to be learned.
“The shambles that is Chiswick street scene leads to one discernable outcome. There is no place in Hounslow for the residents of Chiswick, who are being treated by this Council with contempt…
“The Cabinet have declared war on the motor car.
“We have no confidence in the Leader … who has made mistakes in his choice of Cabinet Members, particularly Cllr Khan, Cllr Lambert, Cllr Dunne and his obvious knowledge of political, economic and social criteria is limited, as his adherence to technical, legal and environmental best practice”.
Conservative councillors’ voices “muffled” – Cllr Mushiso
The vote came at the end of a long meeting in which the council’s budget and the local plan were both discussed. Chairing the meeting, Hounslow’s Mayor, Cllr Tony Louki, allowed half an hour for discussion of the motion, but, Cllr Ron Mushiso told The Chiswick Calendar, debate was cut short after only a few speakers and the vote was taken with 18 minutes left in which their voices could have been heard more.
“There were 13 people waiting to speak. Council officers said there were 18 minutes left to the debate, but it was quickly called to the vote.
“At least let us have an equal share of time to speak. Cllr McGregor was prevented from making his final remarks. I feel tee majority is abusing their power and silencing debate”.
Conservative group backs Judicial Review
Cllr Mushiso told The Chiswick Calendar the Conservative group is backing the application for Judicial Review of the Council’s decision to construct Cycleway 9, initiated by a group of residents calling themselves ‘One Chiswick’.
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