Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Mere words, or an historic breakthrough?

Tonight Borough Council approved a motion proposed by the Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, Councillor Peter Thompson, and seconded by the Community Group's Councillor Paul Fisher, supporting the Sustainable Communities Act and its intention to allow local authorities and their communities to drive assistance given by central government to reverse community decline and promote thriving, sustainable communities.

The Act defines four aspects of sustainable communities thus:

  • the improvement of the local economy,
  • protection of the environment,
  • promotion of social inclusion, and
  • participation in civic and political activity.
Significantly, the motion was supported without amendment by all the parties on the local authority. In other words, for all the political parties represented on the London Borough of Hounslow, participation in civic activity by all residents is now a recognised and desirable objective!

The importance of this cannot be overstated. It effectively means that, even for those who have bitterly opposed the ICG since its inception in 1994, it is now acknowledged that we have been right all along. Our rationale as an organisation has been utterly and unanimously vindicated.

Just last March a Community Group motion tabled a motion to Borough Council which included the following: "This council undertakes to extend its support and assistance to all independent community organisations which can reasonably demonstrate that they represent the aspirations of the community they serve, without seeking to influence or direct those organisations in any way other than with their consent.

"Furthermore this council accepts as a fundamental principle the equal right of all residents to participate in all fields of community and civic activity, and deplores any action which might give office or other advantage to any on grounds of political preference or affiliation.

"This council therefore instructs the Executive member responsible for improving community engagement following Annual Borough Council in May 2008 to investigate and thereafter to implement measures through which the consultative and participatory processes may be improved, and all officers to recognise and to actively assist in the delivery of this policy."

Although passed by Council, New Labour at the time could not bring themselves to support these sentiments and the whole Group abstained.

Obviously any policy statement is about the doing and not just the saying. However the fact that all parties felt able to offer
even their in-principle support to such a radical departure from previous thinking could be a sign that the message is at long last getting through.

Never before has this space been so keenly watched as it will be over the coming months.


Anonymous said...

What a lot of old tosh, we'll still oppose the ICG with every breath in our bodies.

Cllr Paul Fisher said...

We must be doing something right then to get up your nose so much!!

Will you be standing again LOL

Councillor Phil Andrews said...


Assuming "anonymous" to be a spokesperson for the New Labour Party, it seems the party now supports everything the ICG stands for yet opposes the ICG. How stupid is that?

Does anything better illustrate the absurdity of such mindless and unthinking allegiance to an organisation?

Anonymous said...

yah yah yah lets all join the goon squad whatevers...

snapper said...

Dave Hughes does himself or his party no favours with his inane replies to what are very reasonable comments by the councillors. Why don't they muzzle this imbecile?

Anonymous said...

Labour wouldn't support the earlier motion from you and Paul Fisher, says it all.

Sun Reader said...

Enough of this political bitching, where are the big tits ?
All out and about delivering the "West London Rose" I imagine.