Peter Golds: Tower Hamlets Mayor has disdain for public and councillors
By Peter Golds
At last broadcasting has come to Tower Hamlets Council.
Having taken part in the meeting I then viewed it via the council's website.
It will not be featuring in the Oscars but it is a step towards open government in this secretive borough.
What will be seen and noticed is the disdain with which Mayor Lutfur Rahman treats the council and public, sitting smiling at his supporters while ignoring questions from councillors who are elected to scrutinise his actions and the public who are voters.
What is not clear is the continuing dreadful behaviour of the crowd who fill seats in the public section to hurl abuse at any member who questions the Mayor or seeks clarity on his decisions.
At this meeting Cllr Gloria Thienel, one of Tower Hamlets' outstanding community representatives, asked about the proposed Oktoberfest in Millwall Park.
The response was drowned out by personal abuse from the Mayor's supporters.
Apart from being rude this is the antithesis of democracy.
If next year I were to become leader of the majority, then we would expect the mayor to act transparently, answer questions from councillors and the public and justify his or her decisions at full council, which is the right and proper forum for proper public representation.
Pretending Human Rights are an excuse for ignoring the public brings local government into disrepute.
When the mayor is replaced next year, it will stop.
■ Peter Golds is Conservative councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town.