I couldn’t get to last night’s council meeting, so I can only report on what others have said. First, Hammersmith & Fulham Council was one of several councils voting to make massive cuts to their budgets. In Lambeth, the council chamber was occupied by protesters and the councillors had to decamp to a private room to do their dirty work. You can see a video of the protests here. Not so, in Hammersmith where, in spite of a what appears to have been a noisy meeting, the Tories voted for cuts – one even revelled in them. H&F Conwatch reports,
During the meeting, except for the occasional outburst – which included applauding themselves once they had voted the budget through – most of the Tories stayed nervously quiet. A notable exception was Councillor Peter Graham, parliamentary researcher to Fulham MP Greg Hands, who grinned and cheered as the cuts were announced, and jeered at the opposition, which included an angry group of local parents, children and disabled people in the chamber.
Nice bloke, that Peter Graham. Mature too.
Chris Underwood of the Shepherds Bush Blog was on hand to report events as they unfolded.
Here’s a snippet.
Councillor Greenhalgh claimed that they were not taking an “axe” to services, as I claimed here, but that it was a “scalpel instead”, which was a neat metaphor.
Hmmm, a violent metaphor substituted for a medical metaphor. I don’t think I’d want Dr Greenhalgh anywhere near me if I fell ill. His bedside manner is a little on the brutal side.
You can read the rest of his report here.
According to Shepherds Bush Blog, Boris Johnson and David Cameron are visiting Hammersmith on Saturday. I’d be there to heckle, but I have a symposium to go to. I hope they get a nice Hammersmith welcome.