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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

7pm at the Civic Centre Haringey, Committe Room 1. Please can some of us get up there to make Phil K not the lone voice of dissent in this GLSG constitution matter?

Tags for Forum Posts: glsg, protest

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Probably too late now but are we able to submit comments/views via email or text if you can't attend in person?

How much notice was given of this meeting?

You will be able to comment on the draft ToR. 

As I said in Ant's other thread, the draft agreed at last night's GLSG meeting will be published on HOL once typed up (it is) and proofread.  We intend that it will be ready for discussion at the LCSP meeting tomorrow night.

I'll be putting kids to bed so can't make it sorry, but well done anyone that does. From what i've heard there are some existing GLSG members who aren't thrilled about this so Phil wont be a lone voice, and as Hugh pointed out in the other thread theres an election coming up local councillors - we will remember how you behave.

Three of our local councillors (St Ann's) are not standing again. The three that should be there because the GLSG's new remit includes parts of Seven Sister's ward, probably aren't aware. The three from Harringay are certainly not guaranteed anything post May 22nd. They should have ratified all of this well before the purdah.

So now we know - all those times we've wondered about the part 1 / part 2 separation in the meetings, where part 2 is for dealing with confidential matters like on going police investigations etc, and we wonder if they're abusing that confidentiality to hide things from us - the answer seems like yes.

"Part 2" is to protect confidential and exempt business. I don't see how the Constitution of a Council Advisory Body - what the GLSG has apparently been regarded as for several years - can be called confidential or exempt.

There's a wider and important issue of principle here. People campaigned long and hard to get local council meetings opened up so members of the public could attend and watch, listen and have access to documents. It's supposedly basic to our local democracy. Here's some draft legislation which I hope the Coalition finds time to get onto the Statute Book.

(Please note that having a meeting in public does not make it a public meeting.)

To answer your point Ant, are they abusing confidentiality? The answer is almost certainly 'Yes'.  Are they doing so to hide something? Ironically the answer is almost certainly 'No'.

So why are they doing it? The most likely reason is because they can. And to demonstrate their ability to use this power - however petty and pointless. Our 20 month-old granddaughter has learned how to shake her head, purse her lips, and temporarily refuse to eat. There's not much she can control but this is one of the things she can. For a while.

I've suggested before that the Big Man/Big Woman system is a fairly typical Haringey Labour Party way of doing things. I doubt anyone has actually read about Polynesian faction-leader politics. But it's more or less what we have in many areas.

A less anthropological way of looking at it is with the German Sociologist Max Weber who wrote in 1922 that bureaucracies hold onto power by keeping their knowledge secret.  What this illustrates to me is a need for democrats outside bureaucracies to mount an effective and ongoing challenge to the growing culture of secrecy in Haringey and elsewhere.

Frankly I don't understand the mindset of people who want to push so much back into the shadows. Perhaps it's partly complacency about the election and assumption that Labour will still control the council in June. So there's less concern about this growing feature of public life. With discussions and decisions in Haringey and other councils taken at "Boards", pre cabinet meetings and so forth.

However, if the LiBDems or Tories tool control of Haringey and behaved in this secretive way I  strongly suspect that Lapour would be protesting very loudly.

So here's another question people can raise with candidatesL "Are they prepared to reverse these growing undemocratic processes?

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor)

I agree with you here, Alan and I rather like your pursed lip baby metaphor. Like you I suspect this is very much what's happening with the GLSG. It's a crying shame though and what it does to people like me is to just disengage us. Most people have no desire to be part of a club that doesn't want them as a member - and this is very much what it feels like with the GLSG.

Thanks, Hugh. Baby and bathwater is another metaphor which comes to mind.

If this petty and entirely unnecessary descent into secrecy goes unchallenged it risks overshadowing the valuable work and very real achievements of the GLSG.  I do hope common sense prevails,

Profuse apologies for my careless typos. It'll teach me not to write stuff at 3am.

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