It is time for an inquiry
YOU published my letter in last week s Barking and Dagenham Post. As readers may know I have to use a wheelchair and can only walk very small distances. I did, with the help of my husband and others attending the selection meeting for prospective Thames W
YOU published my letter in last week's Barking and Dagenham Post. As readers may know I have to use a wheelchair and can only walk very small distances.
I did, with the help of my husband and others attending the selection meeting for prospective Thames Ward councillors, get to the meeting by climbing numerous stairs with great pain to myself. However I was the only Thames Ward member who did attend the selection meeting.
I can understand why some members did not attend - the venue was difficult to get to and there may have been mobility issues for others. Some perhaps felt that after what had happened at the recent short listing meeting there was no point in attending. I am puzzled though as to where the ward members were who voted for our prospective ward councillors and who voted to deselect Cllr Barns.
Neither they nor the Ward Chairman had the courtesy to attend the meeting. Where is the courage of their conviction to see this process through? With regard to the deselection of Cllr Barns there are serious concerns that the short listing meeting was seriously flawed. There are many questions asked that remain unanswered by members who did attend the shortlisting meeting. Can it be democratic to take Cllr Barns off the short list when he had already won an appeal against deselection on the grounds of his disability, only to be deselected during the short listing procedure? I think not!
I absolutely agree with the Editors comments, not all our local councillors have been doing a bad job. I have known many of them for years and most are good hardworking people. Where is the democracy, fairness and ultimately the voice of the local electors? The people of Barking and Dagenham have been loyal and trusted the Labour Party for many years. If we are not careful we are in great danger of losing the goodwill that many spent years dedicated to building. I recall a famous saying in the Sun Newspaper at the time of the disastrous Labour defeat in 1992 "Will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights". I hope the same headline does not apply next year about the local elections in Barking and Dagenham. I remain a committed member of the Labour Party. I believe in its core values of democracy, fairness and inclusion of all for the benefit of all. Isn't it about time that the NEC held an inquiry into what has happened and at the very least the people of this borough would know that the Labour Party want Barking and Dagenham to remain a Labour Council who uphold the values we expect from our Labour Government?
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