Saturday, May 12, 2012
The elections were good to Labour, giving them the largest group in the Assembly - for the first time - and also the largest group ever elected, short of an overall majority by just one. In 2000 and 2008 they had smaller groups and still managed to grab all the key jobs, courtesy of the Lib Dems - so the omens for 2012 were not good.
12 Labour plus the 2 Greens, who have become a sort of tree hugging annex to the socialists, are sufficient together to control the Assembly. The 2 Lib Dems have decided to hang in there with them, making a 'progressive alliance' of 16, against the Conservative group which still totals a creditable 9 members. Our Libs think that their party should have joined Labour in coalition government, but their own reward for backing Labour on the Assembly was nowhere near as generous as the one that Nick got out of Dave.
London Assembly Portfolios
So the assembly itself will continue to be chaired by Labour's Jennette Arnold, with her Deputy being the Green Darren Johnson. they are likely to exchange roles next year.
Assembly Committees have been reorganised:
Audit Panel - Chair John Biggs (L), Deputy Chair Roger Evans (C)
Budget & Performance Committee - Chair John Biggs (L), Deputy Chair Stephen Knight (LD)
GLA Oversight Committee - Chair Len Duvall (L), Deputy Chair Val Shawcross (L)
Economy Committee - Chair Andrew Dismore (L), Deputy Chair Stephen Knight (LD)
Health & Environment Committee - Chair Murad Qureshi (L), Deputy Chair Jenny Jones (G)
Housing & Regeneration Committee - Chair Len Duvall (L), Deputy Chair Darren Johnson (G)
Planning Committee - Chair Nicky Gavron (L), Deputy Chair TBA
Police & Crime Committee - Chair Joanne McCartney (L), Deputy Chairs Jenny Jones (G) and Caroline Pidgeon (LD)
Transport Committee - Chair Caroline Pidgeon (LD), Deputy Chair Val Shawcross (L)
With Standards Committee and Confirmation Hearings Committees to decide their own chairing arrangements...
Not very rich pickings for the Conservative Group there - but that isn't a miss type at the top of the list, I actually did get the deputy job on the Audit Panel. I'm not sure if it was offered as a small personal recognition or as a grim joke at my group's expense but I grabbed it anyway - having done a few of these meetings I understand that one should never look a gift horse in the mouth - even when it is more of a Gift Mouse.
Conservative Group Portfolios
New Group Leader Andrew Boff has appointed shadow roles for our Group:
Housing - Andrew Boff
Transport - Richard Tracey
Budget - Gareth Bacon
Environment - James Cleverly
Planning - Roger Evans
Police - Steve O'Connell
Economy - Tony Arbour
Health - Victoria Borwick
I won't be short of meetings to attend, having been appointed to the Budget & Performance Committee, Housing & Regeneration Committee, Planning Committee, Transport Committee and of course the Audit Panel. The three years I spent chairing the Planning Committee at Havering will be good experience for my new planning role.