Labour Councillor Reema Patel defends decision not to declare interest

Times Series: Councillors Reema Patel and Barry Rawlings (credit: Barnet Bugle) Councillors Reema Patel and Barry Rawlings (credit: Barnet Bugle)

A councillor who failed to declare she was a Unison member while discussing a report on the trade union has defended her decision.

Members were reminded to declare any interests as Barnet Borough Council's adults and safeguarding committee discussed Unison's ethical care charter.

Despite Barry Rawlings stating that he was a Unison member, Labour Councillor Reema Patel, who was sitting next to him, failed to say that she also belonged to the union.

Having declared she is a Unison member on Barnet Borough Council's website, Cllr Patel said the matter is already in the public domain.

Defending her decision, she said: "It's matter of public knowledge - and it's not a declarable interest. The report is about ethical care and care working conditions for all care workers, including many who are not Unison members."

Cllr Patel added she was annoyed about being asked to only raise one of her chosen items - either Unison's ethical care charter, or The Alzheimer's Society's dementia manifesto for London.

But Councillor Sachin Rajput explained at the beginning of the meeting the council's constitution permits members to submit just one item on the agenda.

Comments (20)

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1:57pm Wed 9 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Oh dear. Labour’s new councillors starting as they mean to go on. Much like the national party, willing to put the interests of their Union pay masters before any other considerations.

I’m sure Mrs Angry will be outraged about this. She hates it when councillors fail to declare personal interests, and we all know how even-handed she is....
Oh dear. Labour’s new councillors starting as they mean to go on. Much like the national party, willing to put the interests of their Union pay masters before any other considerations. I’m sure Mrs Angry will be outraged about this. She hates it when councillors fail to declare personal interests, and we all know how even-handed she is.... AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -5

3:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

James NW7 says...

Pedantic as ever Average Barnet Conservative Councillor. How much did Reema Patel soak from the Council for her business? £28,000? Oh sorry that's the Conservative Mayor who did that and didn't declare an interest.
Pedantic as ever Average Barnet Conservative Councillor. How much did Reema Patel soak from the Council for her business? £28,000? Oh sorry that's the Conservative Mayor who did that and didn't declare an interest. James NW7
  • Score: 2

5:30pm Wed 9 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James...

Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...?

As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration.

I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy.
Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James... Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...? As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration. I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -2

6:18pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Rog T says...

It is clear Reema Patel has made a bad judgement Call. She should accept this and apologise. Its not acceptable for Rayner and not acceptable for her to fail to disclose interests. Patel has the excuse of youth and inexperience for the non disclosure.Rayner doesn't. Experienced old hands in Labour need to put her straight asap
It is clear Reema Patel has made a bad judgement Call. She should accept this and apologise. Its not acceptable for Rayner and not acceptable for her to fail to disclose interests. Patel has the excuse of youth and inexperience for the non disclosure.Rayner doesn't. Experienced old hands in Labour need to put her straight asap Rog T
  • Score: 3

6:26pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Mr E Dance says...

The words pot, kettle, & black spring to mind, ABR (in your response to James)! You rant about Dismore at every opportunity when leaping to the defense of the Mayor, to detract from his shameful behaviour!!! Are you & the Mayor close by any chance?
The words pot, kettle, & black spring to mind, ABR (in your response to James)! You rant about Dismore at every opportunity when leaping to the defense of the Mayor, to detract from his shameful behaviour!!! Are you & the Mayor close by any chance? Mr E Dance
  • Score: 4

10:18am Thu 10 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Never met him, E Dance. Did you have a comment on the article, or will you just be frantically changing the subject like James...?
Never met him, E Dance. Did you have a comment on the article, or will you just be frantically changing the subject like James...? AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -2

10:56am Thu 10 Jul 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Just seen this: I was not at the meeting and am not aware of the full circumstances. Yes, it would seem she may have been in error, but she is a new councillor, and more importantly in this context she has a disability, it she is profoundly deaf, and this may well have contributed to a misunderstanding of the situation. I can say she is a young woman of the utmost integrity and I know she would not knowingly mislead anyone.
Just seen this: I was not at the meeting and am not aware of the full circumstances. Yes, it would seem she may have been in error, but she is a new councillor, and more importantly in this context she has a disability, it she is profoundly deaf, and this may well have contributed to a misunderstanding of the situation. I can say she is a young woman of the utmost integrity and I know she would not knowingly mislead anyone. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 9

3:48pm Thu 10 Jul 14

nlygo says...

Mrs Angry misses a meeting. I am truly shocked.
Mrs Angry misses a meeting. I am truly shocked. nlygo
  • Score: -3

4:59pm Thu 10 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Mrs Angry leaps to defence of Labour councillor in gobsmacking display of hypocrisy. I am truly shocked too!

Did Patel hear the rest of the meeting ok? She seemed fine voting on all the other agenda items... weird.
Mrs Angry leaps to defence of Labour councillor in gobsmacking display of hypocrisy. I am truly shocked too! Did Patel hear the rest of the meeting ok? She seemed fine voting on all the other agenda items... weird. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -2

7:25pm Thu 10 Jul 14

sensiblefellow says...

Reema is a new councillor and is definitely a breath of fresh air. Some argue that Reema has made a mistake through non-declaration of union membership. Others argue that her membership is already in the public domain (its on Barnet Council's own website, for goodness sake!) and is therefore a non-declarable interest. This issue is, in my view, a matter of a bottle half full versus one half empty.

Compare and contrast to the much more serious case of Tory Mayor Hugh Rayner, whose behaviour even Boris Johnson has labelled prima facie illegal.
Reema is a new councillor and is definitely a breath of fresh air. Some argue that Reema has made a mistake through non-declaration of union membership. Others argue that her membership is already in the public domain (its on Barnet Council's own website, for goodness sake!) and is therefore a non-declarable interest. This issue is, in my view, a matter of a bottle half full versus one half empty. Compare and contrast to the much more serious case of Tory Mayor Hugh Rayner, whose behaviour even Boris Johnson has labelled prima facie illegal. sensiblefellow
  • Score: 5

1:39pm Fri 11 Jul 14

James NW7 says...

AverageBarnetResiden
t
wrote:
Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James... Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...? As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration. I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy.
Well for a start I am self employed so not a union member. If you can't get that basic fact right AverageBarnetResiden
t then clearly the rest of your increasingly gnomic pronoucements are also not correct either!
[quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James... Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...? As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration. I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy.[/p][/quote]Well for a start I am self employed so not a union member. If you can't get that basic fact right AverageBarnetResiden t then clearly the rest of your increasingly gnomic pronoucements are also not correct either! James NW7
  • Score: 1

11:30am Mon 14 Jul 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Tedious Barnet Resident/Tory councillor: if you look at the picture above, you will see Reema Patel lip reading what her colleague is saying. She needs to do this, in order to hear. That is why sometimes she misses conversation or discussion that she cannot read. As anyone who has ever been to a meeting in the Town Hall knows, the acoustics are bad enough to start with, and the sound system not fit for purpose, so a hearing loop would not be much use.

Instead of being unkind to a young new councillor with a disability, why not concentrate on the rather more crucial missing declarations that really are of concern, that is to say by your chum the Mayor, who is an experienced councillor of many years standing and really ought to know the clearly defined rules which would affect his own business interests?
Tedious Barnet Resident/Tory councillor: if you look at the picture above, you will see Reema Patel lip reading what her colleague is saying. She needs to do this, in order to hear. That is why sometimes she misses conversation or discussion that she cannot read. As anyone who has ever been to a meeting in the Town Hall knows, the acoustics are bad enough to start with, and the sound system not fit for purpose, so a hearing loop would not be much use. Instead of being unkind to a young new councillor with a disability, why not concentrate on the rather more crucial missing declarations that really are of concern, that is to say by your chum the Mayor, who is an experienced councillor of many years standing and really ought to know the clearly defined rules which would affect his own business interests? Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 1

12:23pm Mon 14 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Mrs (secret Labour councillor) Angry, this article is about your colleague, Patel. Try to pay attention, dear.

It really is pathetic and desperate to use the town hall’s acoustics as an excuse for not declaring an interest! Even Patel herself has not rolled out that little gem of an excuse... yet.

Being “unkind” to coucillors is, by all accounts, the sole purpose of your (worryingly empty) existence. Your hypocricy mounts daily.

All councillors should understand the basic concept of conflicts of interest, not just the “experienced” ones. Clearly Patel knew the rules and was plain deceiptful, rather than (just) stupid. Why hide your union membership from the public unless it is affecting your judgement??

Why not just admit that she was wrong not to declare her interest? This type of one-sidedness is exactly why the opinions of the Barnet bloggers cannot be taken seriously.
Mrs (secret Labour councillor) Angry, this article is about your colleague, Patel. Try to pay attention, dear. It really is pathetic and desperate to use the town hall’s acoustics as an excuse for not declaring an interest! Even Patel herself has not rolled out that little gem of an excuse... yet. Being “unkind” to coucillors is, by all accounts, the sole purpose of your (worryingly empty) existence. Your hypocricy mounts daily. All councillors should understand the basic concept of conflicts of interest, not just the “experienced” ones. Clearly Patel knew the rules and was plain deceiptful, rather than (just) stupid. Why hide your union membership from the public unless it is affecting your judgement?? Why not just admit that she was wrong not to declare her interest? This type of one-sidedness is exactly why the opinions of the Barnet bloggers cannot be taken seriously. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -2

12:28pm Mon 14 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

James NW7 wrote:
AverageBarnetResiden t wrote: Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James... Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...? As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration. I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy.
Well for a start I am self employed so not a union member. If you can't get that basic fact right AverageBarnetResiden t then clearly the rest of your increasingly gnomic pronoucements are also not correct either!
James,

Self employed people can be union members, you dim wit.

Really, sometimes it's like debating with children. What on earth do you manage to do on a "self-employed" basis? I'm guessing it's not rocket science...!
[quote][p][bold]James NW7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James... Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...? As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration. I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy.[/p][/quote]Well for a start I am self employed so not a union member. If you can't get that basic fact right AverageBarnetResiden t then clearly the rest of your increasingly gnomic pronoucements are also not correct either![/p][/quote]James, Self employed people can be union members, you dim wit. Really, sometimes it's like debating with children. What on earth do you manage to do on a "self-employed" basis? I'm guessing it's not rocket science...! AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -1

12:56pm Mon 14 Jul 14

James NW7 says...

AverageBarnetResiden
t
wrote:
James NW7 wrote:
AverageBarnetResiden t wrote: Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James... Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...? As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration. I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy.
Well for a start I am self employed so not a union member. If you can't get that basic fact right AverageBarnetResiden t then clearly the rest of your increasingly gnomic pronoucements are also not correct either!
James, Self employed people can be union members, you dim wit. Really, sometimes it's like debating with children. What on earth do you manage to do on a "self-employed" basis? I'm guessing it's not rocket science...!
Oh dear. AverageBarnetResiden
t knows he has lost the debate here and has to resort to childish insults. What I do for a living is my own business. You think I am going to tell a childish troll my business? Grow up and don't come back here until you can debate properly.
[quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]James NW7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AverageBarnetResiden t[/bold] wrote: Ooops! - A little touch of changing the subject there James... Why no defence of Patel? Own medicine not taste so good...? As I have said on here many times, I am not a conservative councillor. Merely one of the (majority of) Barnet residents that support the current administration. I’ll bet you’re a Union man though... Good on you, little buddy.[/p][/quote]Well for a start I am self employed so not a union member. If you can't get that basic fact right AverageBarnetResiden t then clearly the rest of your increasingly gnomic pronoucements are also not correct either![/p][/quote]James, Self employed people can be union members, you dim wit. Really, sometimes it's like debating with children. What on earth do you manage to do on a "self-employed" basis? I'm guessing it's not rocket science...![/p][/quote]Oh dear. AverageBarnetResiden t knows he has lost the debate here and has to resort to childish insults. What I do for a living is my own business. You think I am going to tell a childish troll my business? Grow up and don't come back here until you can debate properly. James NW7
  • Score: 2

1:51pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Rog T says...

Average Barnet Councillor,
My brother is a rocket scientist and has designed parts of space shuttle, Giotto and Mars landers probes. Having read your comments and actually knowing a bona fide rocket scientist I think it is safe to say you are not well enough endowed in the cranial department to stand in a glass house and throw stones. I suggest that you take yourself off to the naughty corner to think about why you should behave a bit more sensibly on the local paper website.
Average Barnet Councillor, My brother is a rocket scientist and has designed parts of space shuttle, Giotto and Mars landers probes. Having read your comments and actually knowing a bona fide rocket scientist I think it is safe to say you are not well enough endowed in the cranial department to stand in a glass house and throw stones. I suggest that you take yourself off to the naughty corner to think about why you should behave a bit more sensibly on the local paper website. Rog T
  • Score: 2

4:34pm Mon 14 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Rog T, your brother sounds like a very clever chap indeed. Do you have any of your own achievements of your own? On what basis have you decided that I am not “well endowed in the cranial department”. Is it just because I disagree with you, or have you anything more tangible?

James, you started the insults when you called me “pedantic” in your first post. Embarrassingly for you, the evidence can be quickly reviewed by using the “scroll up” function on your mouse.
I’m guessing your “self-employment
is not in the academic sphere...

Anyway, when you’re all done growing up a bit, do either of you have any comments on the ACTUAL ARTICLE!?
Rog T, your brother sounds like a very clever chap indeed. Do you have any of your own achievements of your own? On what basis have you decided that I am not “well endowed in the cranial department”. Is it just because I disagree with you, or have you anything more tangible? James, you started the insults when you called me “pedantic” in your first post. Embarrassingly for you, the evidence can be quickly reviewed by using the “scroll up” function on your mouse. I’m guessing your “self-employment is not in the academic sphere... Anyway, when you’re all done growing up a bit, do either of you have any comments on the ACTUAL ARTICLE!? AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -4

11:47pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Rog T says...

Rather Average Barnet Councillor,

Set up a business which has helped launch 2 Brit Award Winners, provides employment to over 45 people directly & indirectly, has over 1,000 musicians a week travelling from all over the world to use and is widely recognised as an integral part of the London Music scene and the UK music industry.

Over to you my son. What have you done?
Rather Average Barnet Councillor, Set up a business which has helped launch 2 Brit Award Winners, provides employment to over 45 people directly & indirectly, has over 1,000 musicians a week travelling from all over the world to use and is widely recognised as an integral part of the London Music scene and the UK music industry. Over to you my son. What have you done? Rog T
  • Score: 2

11:49pm Mon 14 Jul 14

Rog T says...

Oh and as to on what basis have I judged your cranial capacity? The rather inane comments you write. If however you wish to share some of your achievements so that my theory can be shot down in flames, fire away.
Oh and as to on what basis have I judged your cranial capacity? The rather inane comments you write. If however you wish to share some of your achievements so that my theory can be shot down in flames, fire away. Rog T
  • Score: 2

3:14pm Tue 15 Jul 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Oh dear, tedious Tory Barnet Resident councillor, whatever, whoever you are. I am a Labour party member: I am a critical party member, and that is why I would never become a councillor. My real life name is no secret: but why do you hide your half baked opinions behind a cloak of anonymity?

Let's overlook the sexist remark, and your appalling grammar - and spelling, and look at your latest drivel.

I have already said it is wrong not to declare an interest. Knowing Reema, and knowing her difficulty, I don't believe her oversight was deliberate, and quite clearly it is in no way comparable to the allegations regarding the Mayor and his interesting business interests.

That is all there is to say. Now let's hear you excuse Rayner's failings - oh ... perhaps you can't? Shame.
Oh dear, tedious Tory Barnet Resident councillor, whatever, whoever you are. I am a Labour party member: I am a critical party member, and that is why I would never become a councillor. My real life name is no secret: but why do you hide your half baked opinions behind a cloak of anonymity? Let's overlook the sexist remark, and your appalling grammar - and spelling, and look at your latest drivel. I have already said it is wrong not to declare an interest. Knowing Reema, and knowing her difficulty, I don't believe her oversight was deliberate, and quite clearly it is in no way comparable to the allegations regarding the Mayor and his interesting business interests. That is all there is to say. Now let's hear you excuse Rayner's failings - oh ... perhaps you can't? Shame. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 1
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