This morning Ealing Times has caught up with an issue that was raised at the council meeting last Tuesday. Ian Gibb, who is the portfolio holder for children’s services, pointed out that at the last Youth Provision Specialist Scrutiny Panel, see minutes here, no Labour members managed to turn up. There are meant to be three sitting Labour members. It is hard for councillors to do everything they should. But for all three to no-show and fail to get subs is a bit crap.
In their defence Labour whip Brian Reeves says:
There was a meeting in Southall which our councillors were told started at 5.30pm about the regeneration there. However, when they turned up they were told it would not be starting until 7pm, and there was not enough time in between to make the substitutions for the youth panel.
It’s unfair to say we do not care about the youth in Ealing, as we have our deputy leader Ranjit Dheer on the committee, and Patricia Walker has done a lot of work on this already. If you look at our spending record compared with that of the Conservative council you will see that actually we care a lot more than them.
Reeves is bullshitting. The Southall regeneration meeting he referred to happened as published. If Cllr Dheer can’t decipher an agenda that is his problem. It is also pretty incredible that Cllrs Gallagher (South Acton) and Walker (North Greenford) had any interest in a Southall regeneration meeting. It is stranger still that Walker, shadow cabinet member for children’s services, prioritised a Southall regeneration meeting over a meeting that is so clearly at the centre of her portfolio.
Beyond the Reeves bullshit the really telling line is this one: “If you look at our spending record compared with that of the Conservative council you will see that actually we care a lot more than them.” This is factually wrong but more importantly the focus on inputs rather than outputs is key to the failure of the Blair/Brown project and the failure of Labour in Ealing. You can’t drive outcomes if you don’t turn up.