Saturday, May 12, 2012

Crimson Tide

On Friday the Assembly met to decide the new arrangements for running City Hall following the London Elections. Labour looked very pleased with themselves and had massacred a dozen red roses to provide buttonhole decorations for their twelve members.

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.


weggis said...

"tree hugging annex to the socialists"

How very dare you!

Roger Evans said...

Sorry Weggis - I take back the 'tree hugging' bit...

Mrs Angry said...

Mmm: of course coalitions are only acceptable if the Tories can screw something out of willing and frankly treacherous partners, such as the Libdems, who were willing to sell their soul for a generous endowment of cushy ministerial posts in the present government ...

Glad to see you are deputy chair of audit though. As you know, I am an expert auditor & long time adviser to Grant Thornton - so do please feel free to ask me for assistance should the need arise.

Roger Evans said...

Mrs A, I think we both have the same low opinion of coalitions.

Actually I'm more philosophical about what happened this time - Labour won the Assembly so they should expect the lions share of chairs. It's when they lose (2000, 2008) and the Lib Dems give them it all anyway that the situation rankles a bit. 700,000 people must be wondering why they should vote when it doesn't change anything...

And I was surprised to read about Kath McGuirk's downfall. After she stood for Parliament over here in Havering I thought she would be destined for greater things. Goes to show you never can tell...

Mrs Angry said...

hmm: trying to visualise all those lions sitting on chairs ... bit like the circus, in the politically incorrect days of my childhood.

Yes, just ridiculous about Kath losing her shadow Cabinet post. We went to the same convent school,you know, & were both trained in sarcasm & unarmed combat by the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus. Useful qualifications both, in politics & blogging.