24th December 2014

The “Schoolboy Politics” of Greenwich Council

I’ve been a little busy over the last few months with one thing and another, but now I’m back I thought you’d like a little Christmas present.

Thanks to recent changes in local government guidance and legislation it is now possible to film local council meetings without objections from our local representatives so I thought I’d take the opportunity to give this a go at December’s full council meeting. They spotted what I was up to fairly quickly, making the proceedings relatively staid compared to recent times, but there were a couple of choice moments. Here’s Denise Hyland employing some schoolboy politics to have a go at Spencer Drury… over the use of “schoolboy politics”.

Full coverage resumes shortly.

Merry Christmas!

Stewart Christie

Stewart Christie

Recovering cult escapee. Tread carefully.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Suzanne Miller says:

    Barely audible here. But did Ms Hyland really use that time-honoured phrase “your mother”? No evident retaliation from Spencer — good thing it’s not a playground, then.

    • Avatar Stewart says:

      Sorry, you may have to turn the sound up. They may have spent millions on refurbishing the Town Hall but the acoustics still aren’t up to scratch. I’ll clean up the audio for the next clips.

      Yes, that really was a, “your mother”. In fact – “your mother was a really nice person”, perhaps implying that Spencer isn’t?

  2. Spencer Spencer says:

    I thought it might be worth providing details of the section of my speech which Cllr Hyland described as ‘schoolboy politics’. I try to write them out but often don’t read them, so this is approximately what I said rather than verbatim.

    “I’d like to start with the argument presented by the Council for closing the Club. Cllr Hyland claimed at the last Council meeting that “this is a Club who was not viable, totally unviable”. Her words not mine. Now I am prepared to accept that this argument could be true, however, events seem to suggest that it was not.

    Firstly, under Freedom of Information, I have established that the leaseholder actually offered the Council over a million pounds to extend the lease earlier this year. I cannot believe that this is the action of someone who is losing money in the business. In response, the Council chose to negotiate with the leaseholder and eventually paid £400,000 to buy the site.

    None of this makes any sense if the business was indeed losing money. Why would the lessee offer to pay to extend the lease and why would the Council have to pay to end the lease if it was not viable. It only makes sense if the person running the club was making money – so I have to draw the conclusion that this was indeed a viable business and Cllr Hyland was mistaken in her reasoning.

    Secondly, Cllr Hyland and the Council have claimed that the building was being used illegally for a hostel. Now this is undeniable, but is not a reason for closing the Club down.
    It was the leaseholder who turned the Club into a hostel, not the local residents. Indeed, those residents trusted the Council and reported the hostel to Officers. But instead of rewarding the residents’ trust in this Council, they have been punished by having their club closed down and the leaseholder (who was responsible for the illegal behaviour) has been rewarded by the Council giving them £400,000 to turn over the lease.

    This is simply wrong – residents trusted this Council and instead of being rewarded for their behaviour they have been kicked in the teeth.

    Meanwhile the person responsible for the for the wrong doing has been paid off – where is the morality in this take I wonder?”

    The part Cllr Hyland seemed to think was ‘schoolboy’ was the idea that it was wrong to punish the people who reported the wrong doing while rewarding with £400,000 the person who had been running the illegal hostel. Clearly I am being silly, but I thought this was wrong.

  3. the whole council exchange sounds just utterly pathetic

  4. Avatar Stewart says:

    Elthamwatcher – that was a good day.

  1. 29th January 2015

    […] Christie used the new freedom last month to ridicule the “schoolboy politics” of the Greenwich Council chamber. […]

  2. 30th January 2015

    […] Spencer Drury’s family and he published a blog post saying that he feared for their safety. I published parts of the exchanges that prompted those fears last month. Spencer has now launched a new website but the text of that article is reproduced […]

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