I have been a Governor of St Agnes’ for over 20 years. The school in Cricklewood is superbly run by the Head Teacher Catherine Jordan and her staff.

On Wednesday I attended St Agnes’ to watch the Infants production of “Rock the Baby”

The production was as usual a traditional performance of the Nativity. It was a truly international cast of six and seven year olds. Their enthusiasm was infectious and the packed hall of parents and carers had a cracking time.

I came away feeling optimistic for the future following the splendid attitude of all the children.

Later in the day normal service resumed; I attended the Council Cabinet Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

This Committee is supposed to scrutinise the decisions of the Cabinet. Only items “called in “are looked at. The cabinet member responsible attends to face the scrutiny of the Committee “Called in“ means that one of the Committee has specifically asked for an item to be discussed.

The Committee is made up of six Conservatives, Four Labour and One (me) Liberal Democrat. The first item on the agenda is called “whipping arrangements “!

A bit like the blue papers in an earlier blog I better explain. The Committee Members have to declare whether they are under any whipping arrangement to vote according to Party instructions or whether they have got together before hand and agreed a particular way to vote.

In all the time I have been on this Committee no one has declared they are subject to the Party Whip. So there you go!

The main item on the agenda was “The Future shape of the Council” This is the controversial plan by the Tories to “Privatise Council Services” The Council Leader should have been there to answer questions. He sent his apologies and his deputy Cllr Offord to stand in.

Cllr Offord is always very pleasant, he smiled throughout even when he was put under pressure by the Committee.

At this point I should inform readers that the Tory members hardly ever ask a searching question, in fact it is rare for them to make any real contribution but in a rare intervention one Tory put himself in the running for Private Eye’s “OBN” award of the year when he lobbed Cllr Offord a soft get out jail question.

The Committee Chairman became quite impatient with all the persistent questioning of Cllr Offord, She kept reminding us of the time.

The Future Shape of the Council Policy in my view has not been properly thought through. It is costing the tax payer half a million pounds in consultancy fees alone.

The opposition Councillors proposed that the policy should be sent back to cabinet for further and better details. The vote was lost, no surprises there. But it did not go unnoticed that one Tory abstained.

On a completely separate issue I had called in a report about the amount of money the Council spends on Consultants. I would love to reveal the amount but was warned the information was in “Part 2” (See previous blog) the Chair said if the figures got in to the local press they would know who to blame.

I was about to launch into a challenge to this utter nonsense when I remembered one of the numbers from St Agnes’ production “Goodwill to all Mankind”