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.”