Newly elected Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs has attended the very first meeting of the new Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC).
A mayor attending an oversight committee would not be news anywhere else but in Tower Hamlets.
The previous mayor only ever attended one Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) – on April Fools Day, 2014. His removal from office explains his desire to avoid scrutiny.
Mayor Biggs attended the later part of the meeting on Tuesday, 7th July in order to answer committee questions on an executive decision.
“I’m committed to a culture of openness and transparency and it is vital for executive members to attend meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee,” said Biggs. “This is a crucially important committee that scrutinises decisions and we must do everything possible to facilitate effective scrutiny.”
Biggs also said that he was happy to attend OSC meetings whenever requested. “I am equally committed to answering questions during council meetings – we need to discuss issues openly and fairly if we are to truly work for the benefit of our residents.”
The previous mayor refused to answer questions during council meetings on the grounds that being forced to do so would breach his human rights.
That democracy thing
Attending meetings? Answering questions? Discussing issues? What is going on in Tower Hamlets? Oh yeah – it’s that democracy thing!
Before you do that you will probably want to lie down in a dark room and compose yourself. If this culture change continues there is a distinct possibility we might have a council that works for everyone.