Barnet Tories fail to move council meeting that clashes with Labour conference

Times Series: Cllr Cornelius during last night's meeting Cllr Cornelius during last night's meeting

Barnet Borough Council has failed to move a council meeting that clashes with a major date in the Labour calendar – despite the leader promising to do so.

The September full council meeting was originally scheduled for September 16, but was moved to September 23, which is the date of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

However, Conservative leader Richard Cornelius admitted he was wrong to move the date during the Friern Barnet Community Library meeting on June 20 and said it would be adjusted.

But despite these assurances, a Labour motion to move the meeting was rejected by all the Tories at the council meeting last night.

There is an unwritten rule that meetings are not scheduled during party conferences and this now means councillors will have to choose between their party conference or voting on issues.

During the meeting, Labour leader Councillor Alison Moore said: “It flies in the face of a longstanding and widespread convention that meetings like this aren’t organised during party conferences.

“It’s little to your credit that despite public assurances about rectifying the situation, you haven’t been able to do that.

“Examine your conscience before you vote.”

However, after the meeting, deputy Conservative leader Dan Thomas said the group had “tried their best” to move it.

He added: “Cllr Cornelius tried his best to look at alternative dates but it comes down to availability of members.

“Without wishing to trivialise it, it was a draft calander and we do our best to get everyone to attend. If you can’t, you have to stick with it.

“It’s regrettable – we didn’t do it intentionally. We didn’t realise. It wasn’t a malicious manoeuvre, it was a logistics thing.”

Comments (8)

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2:24pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Didn't realise? What rubbish. All a petty revenge for Labour not going along with a 'twinning' exercise so that lazy Tory councillors, or those on holiday, or with a more interesting engagement, could skive from the meetings they are paid to attend. Cornelius told me that he would put this right, and has failed to do so: he is not a man of his word, and should be judged accordingly.
Didn't realise? What rubbish. All a petty revenge for Labour not going along with a 'twinning' exercise so that lazy Tory councillors, or those on holiday, or with a more interesting engagement, could skive from the meetings they are paid to attend. Cornelius told me that he would put this right, and has failed to do so: he is not a man of his word, and should be judged accordingly. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 12

4:25pm Wed 16 Jul 14

nlygo says...

that's all rather negative Mrs Angry.

Yes it is unfortunate that the meeting clashes with the Labour Party Conference. I also understand that Labour decided not to offer 'pairs' for this Council meeting.

it will be interesting to see how many of the 30 Labour Barnet Councillors have plans to to attend Conference and then actually make it to Manchester.
that's all rather negative Mrs Angry. Yes it is unfortunate that the meeting clashes with the Labour Party Conference. I also understand that Labour decided not to offer 'pairs' for this Council meeting. it will be interesting to see how many of the 30 Labour Barnet Councillors have plans to to attend Conference and then actually make it to Manchester. nlygo
  • Score: -12

5:44pm Wed 16 Jul 14

James NW7 says...

nlygo wrote:
that's all rather negative Mrs Angry. Yes it is unfortunate that the meeting clashes with the Labour Party Conference. I also understand that Labour decided not to offer 'pairs' for this Council meeting. it will be interesting to see how many of the 30 Labour Barnet Councillors have plans to to attend Conference and then actually make it to Manchester.
Are you now or were you ever a member of the Conservative Party nlygo?
[quote][p][bold]nlygo[/bold] wrote: that's all rather negative Mrs Angry. Yes it is unfortunate that the meeting clashes with the Labour Party Conference. I also understand that Labour decided not to offer 'pairs' for this Council meeting. it will be interesting to see how many of the 30 Labour Barnet Councillors have plans to to attend Conference and then actually make it to Manchester.[/p][/quote]Are you now or were you ever a member of the Conservative Party nlygo? James NW7
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Wed 16 Jul 14

nlygo says...

I am not a member of any political party at this time.

I have been a member of the Labour Party in the past.
I am not a member of any political party at this time. I have been a member of the Labour Party in the past. nlygo
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Thu 17 Jul 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Why would it matter if Nlygo was a member of the conservative party?

Mrs Angry is a member of the Labour party, and I suspect you are too, James. What's your point? Is Nlygo not allowed an opinion if it is different from yours?

In any case, this is a nothing story. The conservative group runs the council and makes decisions by majority. This is politics and Labour need to stop whinging just because they can't go to Milibland's party in Manchester to play with their Unison buddies.
Why would it matter if Nlygo was a member of the conservative party? Mrs Angry is a member of the Labour party, and I suspect you are too, James. What's your point? Is Nlygo not allowed an opinion if it is different from yours? In any case, this is a nothing story. The conservative group runs the council and makes decisions by majority. This is politics and Labour need to stop whinging just because they can't go to Milibland's party in Manchester to play with their Unison buddies. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -6

12:11am Fri 18 Jul 14

marccohen53 says...

"unwritten rules", "convention" = not policy or law. Stop the "failure" accusation Hendon Times, Cornelius has done nothing wrong here and is under no obligation. The Labour lot should stop bleeting - if they had won the council elections with a majority this would not have happened but they failed, just as they will in 2015 with their candidate, the expense grabbing, geriatric Dismore who has nothing to offer voters except more travel expenses from Notting Hill and criticism for things he failed to do in his 13 years as MP.
"unwritten rules", "convention" = not policy or law. Stop the "failure" accusation Hendon Times, Cornelius has done nothing wrong here and is under no obligation. The Labour lot should stop bleeting - if they had won the council elections with a majority this would not have happened but they failed, just as they will in 2015 with their candidate, the expense grabbing, geriatric Dismore who has nothing to offer voters except more travel expenses from Notting Hill and criticism for things he failed to do in his 13 years as MP. marccohen53
  • Score: -4

1:47pm Sat 19 Jul 14

Barnet Parker says...

I don't think this is a matter of law or policy - this is a matter of trust.

If Cornelius says he will do something in public surely he is honour bound to see that through in the council chamber and the date should have been changed.

Dan Thomas also strikes me a being a bit dull. If the setting of council meeting dates is all about the availability of members why would you pick a date when nearly 50% of the members might be at their party conference.

Ultimately this is the sort of nonsense one would expect from these two who were never straight with the public about councillors allowances and One Barnet prior to the previous election. It is disappointing however to see Cllrs like Salinger, Shooter and Scannell, who I have witnessed behaving/voting honourably in the past, supporting an apology for democracy like this.

Do these people not see the contempt the public hold politicians in and wonder why the turnouts in elections are so low? Stop playing games and run the borough - or is this all you have left to do now you've sold it to Capita?
I don't think this is a matter of law or policy - this is a matter of trust. If Cornelius says he will do something in public surely he is honour bound to see that through in the council chamber and the date should have been changed. Dan Thomas also strikes me a being a bit dull. If the setting of council meeting dates is all about the availability of members why would you pick a date when nearly 50% of the members might be at their party conference. Ultimately this is the sort of nonsense one would expect from these two who were never straight with the public about councillors allowances and One Barnet prior to the previous election. It is disappointing however to see Cllrs like Salinger, Shooter and Scannell, who I have witnessed behaving/voting honourably in the past, supporting an apology for democracy like this. Do these people not see the contempt the public hold politicians in and wonder why the turnouts in elections are so low? Stop playing games and run the borough - or is this all you have left to do now you've sold it to Capita? Barnet Parker
  • Score: 3

11:24pm Sat 19 Jul 14

marccohen53 says...

You mention dull politicians but the ultimate dullest politician of the year(s) award must go to Andrew Dismore ...... boring, dull, old, all talk no action but lots of research papers Dismal, when is he drawing his pension?? Still there must be lots of care homes in Notting Hill that Dismore will be eligible for as a resident - Burnt Oak just doesn't cut it for him in terms of luxury. He ditched his second home there a long time ago - that's what he thinks of the constituents!
You mention dull politicians but the ultimate dullest politician of the year(s) award must go to Andrew Dismore ...... boring, dull, old, all talk no action but lots of research papers Dismal, when is he drawing his pension?? Still there must be lots of care homes in Notting Hill that Dismore will be eligible for as a resident - Burnt Oak just doesn't cut it for him in terms of luxury. He ditched his second home there a long time ago - that's what he thinks of the constituents! marccohen53
  • Score: -5
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