27 July 2010

It's summer, so the Tories consult on closing libraries

As predicted by hfconwatch before the May elections, Tory H&F council has announced plans to close Baron's Court and Sands End libraries and scrap the mobile library.

A consultation on changes to the library service has been launched today just as many library users head off for their holidays. This cynical move displays the Tories' contempt for local residents.

The consultation closes on 15 September...

16 July 2010

Harry Phibbs - hypocrite of the night

Who does H&F Tory Cllr Harry Phibbs think he is? He's meant to be a representative of his local community but he spends more time practising his Daily Mail journalism.

Last night at the H&F cabinet meeting, Cllr Phibbs should have been asking why his colleagues were making huge cuts in local voluntary organisations that make up the so-called Big Society. Instead he said nothing and simply nodded through cut after cut.

Rather than his Daily Mail 'hypocrisy' attacks on others, Cllr Phibbs should be asking himself why he missed virtually every single meeting of the H&F Law Centre management committee that he was representing the council on. Shame on you and the rest of the cabinet.

15 July 2010

Seven deputations to cabinet on voluntary sector funding

Seven voluntary organisations have organised deputations to this evening's H&F Tory cabinet meeting on funding of the voluntary sector from October.

Faced with huge cuts, the seven organisations will be calling for decisions to be reversed. They are: Shepherds Bush Families Project; Under 5's drop in session run by SEAPIA (Sands End); Iranian Association; Grove Neighbourhood Centre; Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre; Threshold Housing Advice; Hammersmith & Fulham Refugee Forum.

Support them outside Hammersmith town hall from 6.15pm this evening (15 July) and in the cabinet meeting itself at 7pm.

PS despite six powerful deputations, the Tory leader ran roughshod over his fellow cabinet members and opposition councillors tonight, refusing to allow any questions or debate on the proposals and moving straight to a vote on cutting voluntary sector funding. Clearly the Tories 'cannot afford to care'.

12 July 2010

Big Society cuts to H&F voluntary sector services

David Cameron's favourite Tory council in H&F is living up to its reputation by making huge cuts in funding to local voluntary organisations from this October.

Now Tory councillors will face a huge demonstration on Thursday 15 July when H&F cabinet meets to agree the cuts. A rally outside the town hall at 6.15pm will be followed inside by deputations to the cabinet meeting at 7pm.

The cuts will hit all sections of the local community and decimate local services. Organisations that are being hit include the Pre-school Learning Alliance, Hammersmith & Fulham Action on Disability, the Law Centre, Threshold, Shepherds Bush Families Project, Breakthrough and many minority ethnic and refugee groups plus CITAS.

Whatever happened to the Big Society?

08 July 2010

Who ate all the pies?

Pots and kettles come to mind when you read Tory H&F leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh's latest rant. hfconwatch doesn't normally publicise these but have a look at 'Wine before work' at: http://www.hfconservatives.com/ for a bizarre attack on the MP for Hammersmith.

Not only does Mr Blobby not know his stuff – part of Andrew Slaughter's new constituency covers the Fulham Society's patch - but isn’t Cllr Greenhalgh simply admitting that he was also hoovering up the free calories, but just travelling in the opposite direction? And we all know who can eat more.

Clearly Greenhalgh and Hammersmith Tories are still smarting and bitter (that will be 14 pints, please) two months on from losing the Hammersmith parliamentary election. Or perhaps Mr Blobby was tired and emotional when he wrote 'Wine before bed'.

07 July 2010

H£F for sale

Tory leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh has announced a bonfire of the community's assets, selling off valuable buildings. For short term gain, the Tory leader is destroying the borough by flogging off the community's silver.

Up for sale are:
Fulham Town Hall
The Sands End Community Centre
The Askham Centre
Distillery Lane Centre
Palingswick House
The Irish Centre
58 Bulwer Street
The Greswell Street Centre
50 Commonwealth Avenue W12

Once sold, these facilities will never belong to the community again.

Carers centre closure clouded by defamation row

As if the closure of H&F Carers Centre (see previous hfconwatch blogs) by the Tory council was not bad enough, there are now allegations of defamation being made against the Tory cabinet member and director responsible for the decision. Apparently the two wrote to local voluntary organisations explaining their closure decision with accusations of improper relationships at the centre. They have since written another letter withdrawing their remarks but the damage has been done.

Mirror, mirror...the biggest of them all?

H&F Tory council leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh was embraced recently by Tory local government minister Eric Pickles as they dwarfed H&F council's debt.

They were celebrating a further £55 million cuts in local services over the next three years together with a deal to merge H&F's local education authority with Westminster council's. It's not clear who voted for that move or what benefit it will bring the children and students of this borough.

PS This is what The Guardian has to say about the education merger with Westminster: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/17/public-services-local-councils So much for the new localism.

05 July 2010

Tory council undermined by Tory government

Thirteen (13!) schools building projects in H&F have been stopped by the new Tory government as part of the latest cuts. H&F Tory council's plans for secondary education and school reorganisation have been undermined by the decision. The only project that will continue is the so-called Hammersmith Academy in Askew ward.

PS a H&F council press release about the vandalism to thirteen school building projects in the borough unusually doesn't include a quote from a Tory councillor about their government's bulldozing of their plans.

Greenhalgh wastes no time in cuts crusade

As warned by hfconwatch after the 6 May council elections, H&F Tories have rushed ahead with cuts and closures which make their first term look timid.

Tory leader Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh has proclaimed a personal mission to reduce the council's debt and thereby the council tax. No one seems to be asking why such big cuts in debt (and thereby local services) are necessary at this time.

Instead, Cllr Greenhalgh is glorying in selling off community assets, axeing funding to local voluntary organisations and closing the local carers' centre (as per previous blogs). More on all these Tory cuts to follow - £55 million over the next three years, as trumpeted by the Tory leader last week.