Knocking on doors around Northfield over the last few months it has become apparent that the council is woefully out of touch. It is not hard to see why when you start to explore the backgrounds of the councillors who make up the dominant Labour group on the council. The councillors’ declaration of interest page on the council’s website is pretty informative in this respect. There were 48 Labour councillors out of 69 until two recently became independent! Of the remaining 46 fully 14 work for the government in its various guises.
Eight of our Labour councillors work in local government. In the Northfield ward two out of three Labour councillors work for other councils. It must be hard for councillors to represent the views of residents when their mindset must naturally favour the producer interest rather than that of the resident.
Two Labour councillors are paid by the government to support local Labour MPs – Councillor Julian Bell works for Piara Khabra and Councillor Bassam Mahfouz works for Stephen Pound.
Councillor Lawrence Evans works for the Health and Safety Executive so I imagine that he is not the world’s greatest slasher of red tape.
Councillor Jill Stokoe works for the QCA, effectively a part of the Department for Education and Skills that oversees our grade inflated examination system. She probably does not see anything odd about the money spent on Perceval House. She goes to work at government offices at Piccadilly every day (see location map). QCA have a great view of Green Park.
Councillor Stephen Sears is an interesting case. He does not work for the government. Apparently he manages to maintain his impartiality whilst being the Chief Executive of a company that has a number of large contracts with the borough. According the Guardian he is an ex-councillor so maybe it is not an issue any more!