Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Newham Council Annual General Meeting 2023

Yesterday evening was the Formal Annual General Meeting of the London Borough of Newham Council in the Old Town Hall in Stratford. It is the nearest we usually get to "pomp and ceremony" in Newham Council meetings. 

On the way in we were lobbied effectively by a well organised branch of the local Rental Union on tenants rights. 

At the start of the meeting, we had terrific songs  by a local primary school choir.  It was nice to see the outgoing Chair of Council (in a Executive Mayor Council such as Newham, this position is somewhat similar to a traditional Civic Ceremonial Mayor) Cllr Winston Vaughan, in his red robes, fur and cocked hat being given a lovely send off. The new Chair, Cllr Rohima Rahman, also wore red robes but as the first female Chair of Bangladeshi descent in Newham, also wore her traditional headdress. 

She was a very good chair and had to deal with the obligatory "shouty" protest in the hall which disrupted the meeting for 15 minutes and then some sharp political debates about committee positions between the Labour Group and the 2 Green Councillors. For my pennyworth I must say that I found it disconcerting that our Greens make a play as being the Party of democracy and principle but then went on to make some pretty partizan and frankly, silly, claims over their influence and "achievements". 

My long standing Colleague, Cllr Stephen Brayshaw made some very pointed remarks while, our Executive Mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, also pointed out some pretty obvious inaccuracies in what had been said by them. 

Afterwards there was some nice snacks in the Courtyard, then my ward colleague, John Whitworth and I, went off to a quiet beer (or two) at the nearby, King Eddies. 

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