New administration rigs watchdog committee

At the first meeting of Haringey council since May’s elections, the Labour administration continued its tradition of marking its own homework in respect to the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The committee is in charge of holding the administration to account, and scrutinising the effectiveness of policies before they are enacted.

The Liberal Democrat opposition put forward a nomination for Chair, Councillor Pippa Connor (LD-Muswell Hill), who has sat on the committee for eight years as vice-chair, and gained a reputation for constructive, cross-party working.

However, Labour vetoed the idea of an Opposition member chairing the committee, and instead voted through John Bevan (Lab-Northumberland Park), who sat in the very cabinet he is now in charge of scrutinising until last night.

Cllr Dawn Barnes (LD-Fortis Green), who put forward Cllr Connor’s nomination, said:

“We are currently in a totally ridiculous situation, where the Labour Party is in charge of marking its own homework. That isn’t a healthy state of affairs, particularly given the financial cost and investigations needed during the past four years of Labour in office. Hearing alternative points of view is healthy for democracy, and it is time the administration recognised that fact.”

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