Last Monday after SEC’s town hall meeting I commented that the chairman, the BBCâ€™s Stephen Sackur, had failed to be objective. I said:
He referred to the Conservative team as â€œyou lotâ€. He called the Glenkerrin Arcadia scheme an â€œinsane ideaâ€ (compare this with the language of the planning inspector: â€œThe evidence to the Inquiry demonstrated that the appeal proposal would deliver a number of substantial benefits, which would fulfil some important objectives of development plan policy.â€) When one guy at the back talked in favour of tall buildings Sackur ridiculed him. He talked about property developers making â€œfrankly millions for themselvesâ€. He asked: â€œWhy is Ealingâ€™s shopping rubbish?â€ He asked: â€œWhy is the cinema project completely buggered?â€. Whatever Sackur is, objective he is not.
The whole session failed to provide much illumination. Sackur didnâ€™t even try to run a useful meeting.
My fears have been inadvertantly confirmed today on the Ealing Today forum. SEC activist Arthur Breens says:
Over 400 people turned up to the Town Hall just over a week ago to hear prospective parliamentry candidates and councillors explain their ideas for the development of Ealing Town Centre.
Steven Sackur trounced Cllr. David Millican (Cabinet member in charge of regeneration and transport). He visibly struggled to explain, promote or defend his brief. You began to feel sorry for him but then you wondered why was he on the stage at all?
Funny behaviour for a chairman. No wonder Cllr Millican was on the defensive. Breens has let the cat out of the bag. Ooops.
At least I think Breens is associated with SEC. SEC refuse to publish any accounts, minutes of meetings or lists of officers so it is hard to know who they are or what they are trying to achieve. They are not transparent and they are certainly not accountable to anyone.