26 May 2008

Rupert Bear dresses it up

YouTube fans will love Rupert Bear's latest videos on H&F council's antics. To the tune of The Kinks' Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Mr Bear reveals all at:


PS: Is it true that council staff are banned from accessing YouTube - despite the council claiming to be at the forefront of modern communication?

Cuts protest at annual council meeting

Residents get the chance to protest about Tory cuts in local services on Wednesday 28 May when H&F council has its annual meeting.

Hammersmith & Fulham Coalition against Community Care Cuts is organising the protest against the £36 million cuts in local services. The protest starts at 6.15 pm at Hammersmith Town Hall.

HAFCAC's focus is on cuts in support to older and disabled people, along with the Tories' planned introduction of home care charging despite their manifesto pledge not to do so.

Who leads on housing in H&F?

Further to the recent blog about the sacking of the cabinet member for housing, several new paid posts for Tory councillors are being created at this week's council meeting to tackle the borough's housing crisis.

Cllr Lucy Ivimy becomes cabinet member for housing following the sacking of Cllr Adronie Alford after the poor performance of H&F Homes.

But Cllr Alford is given several new paid roles to compensate - including chair of housing scrutiny and lead member for scrutiny of the H&F Homes ALMO.

In addition Cllr Gavin Donovan is made lead member for liaison with tenants and residents associations to compensate for being sacked as housing scrutiny chair.

So why are three Tory councillors needed to do a job previously done by Cllr Alford? Shouldn't Cllr Ivimy lead on liaison with tenants and residents and the effectiveness of the ALMO?

This promises to create chaos in accountability for improving housing at a critical time following the recent poor inspection which jeopardised substantial investment in decent homes.

PS a footnote for history - council leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh has decided to delete the role of 'lead member for recruitment' he awarded himself recently along with a £5k pay rise. Again, a job he should have been doing anyway.

Council propaganda under attack

Hundreds of horrible green H&F council banners hung on lamposts in town centres have been given a 'wooden spoon' by local conservation groups, the Hammersmith Society and H&F Historical Buildings Group.

The Tory propaganda is described by the groups as 'unnecessary, obtrusive and a real visual intrusion' and 'cluttering the streets'.

They have called for the banners to be banned - but the Tory council says it's planning more signs in the future as its publicity spirals out of control.

19 May 2008

Cllr Awful replaced by Cllr Informe

As predicted by hfconwatch in March, Cllr Adronie Alford has been sacked as Tory cabinet member for housing after a dreadful performance by the H&F housing almo.

Cllr Alford will be replaced at the annual council meeting by Cllr Lucy Ivimy - it's not clear what she knows about housing either.

Cllr Alford has been given a new scrutiny role (with payment) to make up for her sacking.

15 May 2008

Who saved our post offices?

Five out of the eight local post offices facing closure have been saved.

This remarkable and unprecedented success story follows a major targeted campaign by Shepherds Bush MP Andy Slaughter working with local residents.

Strangely, several other people claim credit for the victories - including Greg Hands MP who has already disappeared to Chelsea, Cllr Paul Bristow whose best mate Cllr Harry Phibbs spins Tory stories for the Evening Standard, and someone called Shaun Bailey.

Why anyone believes them is a mystery.

Tories get the Blues (again)

Hammersmith & Fulham council has fallen out with Chelsea Football Club - again.

A week before the European Champions League final, the Tory council has already put a dampener on the match by insisting that Chelsea can't hold a victory parade on Thursday 22 May if they win the previous evening.

This is the second time that the Tories have got the Blues.

05 May 2008

Normal service resumed

The Tory council in Hammersmith & Fulham is back to its old tricks again.

A day before the London elections, the council issued a release headlined 'Round the clock cops halve crime'. Unfortunately the reality is different with the fall for most types of crime much lower than the headline claims while the figures for drugs crimes have doubled! Let's hope Boris doesn't have the same statistical problems.

And the Tory council continues to cost residents more. Parking fees have been increased by several times the rate of inflation. And the prospect of substantial charges being introduced for homecare for older and disabled residents draws ever closer.

Finally the whole future of secondary education in Hammersmith & Fulham continues to be up in the air with the latest council proposals for merging schools.