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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cllr Lorber Confesses Failure

Last night's Executive saw the unusual spectacle of Cllr Paul Lorber confessing failure.  He used the report on the future of Barham Park to argue that Brent Council had been failing to do anything with Barham Park "for years" _ presumably including his four years as Leader of Brent Council.

It led me on to thinking of the more general failures of that administration, which I view as a nadir of political leadership in Brent.  I would view the sources of Paul's failure as being to lack of real political beliefs, cowardice and small mindedness. 

As far as I can see neither he nor any of his colleagues had any real idea what they want to achieve.  That is quite different to administrations in some authorities.  For instance, the Tories in the "Tri-Borough" whatever you might think of their political agenda, definitely have one.  The result was an administration drifting along without any agenda of its own, but simply reacting to events.

Cowardice came in dithering over issues, such as the ARK Academy, was joining to cowardice in facing up to issues at all.  Thus, the Liberal Democrats rejecting making changes to recycling despite the rising costs of landfill, retreated from introducing an emission based permit scheme and ducked making any change to planning enforcement to match resources to demand. 

This drift seems to have led Cllr Lorber into an obsession over small details.  For instance, he spent a lot of time worrying about whether the Mayor's car was eco-friendly but none trying to promote car clubs or electric vehicles or anything that might have a more strategic effect on pollution.

Of course, his administration also failed to deal with the Council's long standing problems of organisation, such as widely differing rates of pay and conditions for the same jobs, a tendency to use temporary labour without proper thought, or ptackle persistent overruns in building projects.

Altogether, I imagine he looks upon his time as Council Leader has a huge wasted opportunity.

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