After the tributes to Del Smith,1 Damian White resumed orchestrated time-wasting. His Leader’s speech (26 minutes)2 outlined his achievements, which includes future Olympians. Havering’s problems are someone else’s fault but he’s resolving them. There was, amazingly, criticism of the government funding regime thrown in by accident.
Damian’s time-wasting (45) had 20 minutes of ‘reports’ by committee chairs. Nothing was said apart from Judith Holt waffling energetically.
At Question Time, (I:05) Paul Middleton attracted support as councillors barracked Damian for drivel. Osman Dervish had a number of questions and he read the answers quite well. Joshua Chapman likes statistics and Paul McGeary got a lot of them. Ray Morgon discovered Damian doesn’t understand that an uncharged service isn’t free. Many dim GCSE students make the same mistake. Perhaps Roger Ramsey can explain? Graham Williamson asked about CCTV. He could have asked about a £5m capital programme for an uncosted project.3
Damian doesn’t like debates and the only item discussed was the loss of experienced staff. He missed Ray Morgon, Linda Hawthorne, Barry Mugglestone’s point. They were discussing a specific department and its loss of experienced staff, not the Council as a whole. Keith Darvill said the debate was a waste of time. He was wrong. For Damian the debate4 was an opportunity to not discuss lethal cladding on blocks of flats.
Game, Set and Match to Damian: the anti-scrutiny Leader.
1 Havering’s Council Meeting: 1st September, 2021 (part one) – Politics in Havering
2 Times relate to this webcast Annotator Player (sonicfoundry.com)
3 I discuss this here Havering’s Crime and Disorder Committee, 5th August 2021 – Politics in Havering
4 Robert Benham went as far as discussing the national shortage of HGV drivers