Previously on… Full Council

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All the events you might have missed from March 2024’s Full Council Meeting due to Bromley Conservatives’ broadcast/streaming blackout on all (non-key) council meetings.

Pedestrian crossings are bad for you

A petition signed by more than 2,000 residents in favour of a pedestrian crossing outside Crofton Park School was presented at the last Full Council meeting of the year. Conservatives enthusiastically argued that kicking the idea into the long grass of arcane procedure was surely the best thing for everyone concerned.

One Tory, though, made the unusual argument that pedestrians crossings are actually the problem, stating: “A crossing might make it more dangerous as people get complacent”. Yes, it really happened.

Broadcast black-outs on council meetings continue

Perhaps with the gaffe-prone nature of their councillors in mind, Bromley Conservatives also blocked a motion to live stream all council meetings.

They say they will, of course, live stream ‘key meetings’: just that the description of ‘key meeting’ did not apply to this one. Nor does it extend to any committee meetings where members do ‘non-key’ activities such as monitoring the council’s performance and deciding what to spend council tax money on.

In the same meeting, several members argued about the virtues of free speech. Which begs the question – how free is speech when there’s a broadcast ban in place?

Better enforcement against planning breaches

One bright spot from the final meeting was passing of new rules designed to toughen up enforcement of planning breaches – giving councillors, and by extension their constituents, more leeway to pursue enforcement. The Bromley Labour group welcomed and supported these changes.

Slow motion

Conservatives brought a motion to try to blame the Mayor of London for not building enough police stations in the borough. Labour pointed out that police stations across London had closed as Met funding from central government fell by a third after 2010. Also with the Met budget having been set for 2024-25, the motion was simply too late.

The Conservatives had apparently tried to bring their Mayor-bashing motion in December – but unfortunately missed the deadline. This meant they had to bring it to council just weeks before the Mayoral elections! We can only imagine their disappointment.

Just how did he know that?

It was a night of coincidences. A former Chislehurst Conservative councillor turned up to ask a question about the progress of road safety measures at the War Memorial that he had abstained on ‘advocated for’ just before losing his seat in 2022. By sheer luck, the transport portfolio holder, Cllr Bennett, was able to share breaking news of progress in said road safety measures! The portfolio holder then conveniently side-lined the hard work of current Chislehurst Matters councillors who had campaigned for crossing at the War Memorial junction. (Of course, Labour councillors voted FOR a crossing back in 2022.)

Labour questioned how Cllr Bennett’s colleague from the Conservative party was informed enough to submit a question on the issue days before the information was made available to members on the Environment Committee. Congratulations to the ex-councillor and his uncanny skills of prediction! Perhaps he wishes he possessed these powers ahead of the 2022 election…