27 November 2011

Why is the Tories' Peter Graham avoiding a straight answer about £7,000 Hammersmith council knees-up?

Although only elected last year, Tory councillor Peter Graham is increasingly seen as no more than an apologist for whatever the Conservative administration does.

Not only did he go against his constituents' wishes and argue and vote in favour of the atrocious scheme by property developers St George's to throw up a nine-story, riverside tower block of flats in Fulham Reach, where he is a councillor.

Now he is is refusing to condemn the council's appalling decision to spend over £7,000 on an extravagant goodbye party for its former chief executive Geoff Alltimes (see here).

Cllr Graham has spent most of this Sunday trying to avoid giving a straight answer to a straight question posed on Twitter by the Hammersmith and Fulham Chronicle: "Do you support the use of 7ks worth of public money for CEOs leaving do, yes or no?"

First Cllr Graham spun one way, wrongly claiming "about half the current Labour group were at the event". We gather that only four out of Labour's fifteen councillors were and they had no idea it was costing so much, nor that the council was footing the bill. (Mr Alltimes is getting a final £270,000 tax-free lump sum and a £104,000 pension: paying for the party himself would hardly have bankrupted him.)

Then Cllr Graham spun another way, bizarrely arguing that "the move to a shared CEO is saving money". This makes us wonder on what other inappropriate things the Tories will be spending any savings from the merger with K&C.

Here is a flavour of the Chronicle's persistent but ultimately fruitless questioning of Cllr Graham via Twitter (see here for more):

  • "you haven't answered MY question...It's a yes or no answer, Peter!"
  • "would you please answer my question? And if not, why not?
  • "people will think spending that amount of money makes a mockery of the council's socalled savings drive wont they?"
  • "do u not agree that spending such an amount on a party when the council is ramming home its debt crisis is crass?"
  • "You can't spin the figure. The amount is 7k. I'm asking you whether you think that's acceptable in this climate."


Anonymous said...

that is like when jeremy paxman asked michael howard the same question 13 times and he still didn't get a straight answer. a role model for mr. graham maybe?

Anonymous said...

It would be mean in the extreme to make the man pay for his own leaving party! This is a non story!

Anonymous said...

10.35, so does LBHF pay for leaving parties for the Council workers that it makes redundant? By your logic, not to do so "would be mean in the extreme".

Anonymous said...

For the amount of people being made redundant (getting good handouts at redundancy for most)it would be a lot more than £7,000 being spent out if they are all being given leaving do's.