Wednesday, 16 September 2015

(Lack of) Standards Committee

The London Borough of Sutton Standards Committee met this evening to decide on whether to call for an enquiry into allegations which have recently been headline news over our local press regarding the Beddington Farmlands incinerator.

Un-surprisingly the Liberal Democrats had the majority on the committee (4 Lib Dems to 1 Conservative) so also unsurprisingly decided not to investigate claims against their own Party  for matters such as undeclared interests (Councillor John Drage, part of the committee that awarded the contract to Viridor allegedly did not disclose interest for two years that he was personal friends with the CEO of Viridor Colin Drummond or also that his wife was the godmother of Colin Drummond's son), coercion of councillors (Councillor Stephen Fenwick has produced a sworn testament that he was coerced into voting for the incinerator) and alleged corruption (the £275,000 that went from Viridor to John Drage's church). Two whistle blower councillors who have recently been suspended from the Lib Dems, Nick Mattey and Stephen Fenwick were both there this evening calling for the enquiry.

Alas it was not to be, as this really would be a case of turkeys voting for Xmas. It was also interesting that the committee lacked the most basic knowledge of this case, claiming that there were two Judicial Reviews and also that it went to Appeal as a justification of not allowing a further enquiry. There has only been a Judicial Review which did not include the recently emerged matters of councillor non-disclosure of interests, coercion and corruption.


SJH said...

They're shameful - makes me despair!

Peter Alfrey said...

Towing the party line- dangerous game! Its the lib dem last strong hold in the UK- they need to keep the locals happy, we will escalate this to the wire- siding with Viridor is a stupid idea.

Peter Alfrey said...

Also very annoyingly they kept on enforcing formality (be quiet while an individuals gets to speak and accept the vote of elected officials which trumps the opinion of the majority). I agree with formality but it can only work in an environment of equal power. Its very difficult to remain silent when lies are pouring out and you have to see what you love disappearing down the plug hole. It would be inhuman to do that. It was like for them the formality and etiquette was more important than the truth and they were interpreting passion and concern for un-civilised behaviour and ideas which needed to be rejected in entirety (I do agree in more respect in these meetings and a closer adherence to facts and a minimisation of speculation and allegation). However it was their etiquette and formality which was upholding a brutal and destructive un-civilised process that is destroying the local environment and people's lives. They (the committee) were the many ways in-humans, the un-civilised- apes hiding behind the cloak of etiquette.