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Greenwich goes it alone without Gilligan

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  • Anthony Austin
    GREENWICH COUNCIL WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE 2013 PUBLIC QUESTIONS 1. Question from Anthony Austin, Deptford, to Councillor Denise Hyland, Cabinet Member for
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 28, 2013
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      GREENWICH COUNCIL

      WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE 2013

      PUBLIC QUESTIONS

      1. Question from Anthony Austin, Deptford, to Councillor Denise Hyland, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills.

      The Mayor of London has appointed a Cycling Commissioner with a budget of £100 million for cycling infrastructure in the boroughs. Why is Greenwich the only London borough out of 32 to fail to respond out of courtesy to repeated invitations by the commissioner to discuss ways in which this borough may benefit?

       

      Reply-

      I thank Mr Austin for his question.

      The Council is engaged with Transport for London regarding the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling. I can confirm that Officers have met with senior representatives from Transport for London to discuss the Royal Borough’s priorities and how they relate to both the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling and the funding packages available. The meeting was extremely constructive with Transport for London indicating that they were very supportive of the work the Borough has undertaken so far and confirming they would work with us

      to bring forward future proposals in line with the Council’s agreed priorities. In relation to the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, this is a part time post awarded to a Greenwich resident who is a journalist who has blogged and written about significant issues of public policy within Greenwich and it is our view that he has an irresolvable conflict of interest. The Leader of the Council met with his boss, the Deputy Mayor for Transport to agree that liaison on cycling matters would continue to be, as previously, through the officer networks and where necessary at senior political level.

       

      Supplementary Question: Are we to understand from Cllr Hyland that Greenwich is the only London borough out of 32 to discuss cycling issues with Transport for London but bypassing the Mayor’s cycling commissioner, and how is that going to work?

       

      Reply (not verbatim): “Madame Mayor you know we talked to Transport for London before Mr Gilligan was appointed and we will continue to do so now. We think we’re doing fine with our work to encourage cycling in this borough. Many more people are getting on their bikes and cycling etc. We feel that Mr Gilligan because he has commented on issues to do with Greenwich has a conflict of interest. We think we’re doing fine with our cycling policy.”

    • Francis Sedgemore
      ... Disgraced former journalist Andrew Gilligan has over the years made many enemies, but the visceral reaction in Greenwich to his appointment as London
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 28, 2013
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        On 28 Jun 13, at 12:41, Anthony Austin <austin970@...> wrote:

        to bring forward future proposals in line with the Council’s agreed priorities. In relation to the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, this is a part time post awarded to a Greenwich resident who is a journalist who has blogged and written about significant issues of public policy within Greenwich and it is our view that he has an irresolvable conflict of interest. The Leader of the Council met with his boss, the Deputy Mayor for Transport to agree that liaison on cycling matters would continue to be, as previously, through the officer networks and where necessary at senior political level.

        Disgraced former journalist Andrew Gilligan has over the years made many enemies, but the visceral reaction in Greenwich to his appointment as London cycling commissioner is completely out of order.

        Over the years I've followed the in-action of Greenwich Council with regard to cycling and other sustainable transport matters, and am sufficiently familiar with the individuals concerned. Little shocks or surprises me, but this latest fit of pique beggars belief.

        As a “Royal Borough”, home to 200,000 souls and in possession of considerable material wealth, Greenwich is in good standing with the political establishment, and as such one expects a high standard of behaviour from its elected representatives, with differences of opinion, however sharp, kept in check for the sake of good management and public relations. For Greenwich Council to refuse to deal with Andrew Gilligan is grossly unprofessional.

        I am minded to refer the case to the council, and if needs be the local government ombudsman, as one of dereliction of duty on the part of its senior political officials. Theirs is an act of petulance that risks bringing Greenwich into London if not UK-wide disrepute.

        Hyland's second (non-verbatim) comment is quite astonishing.

        I have a question: will Greenwich Council refuse to engage directly with FOGWOFT, given that within its core are individuals who have been publicly and sharply critical of the council? What exactly is the threshold for an "irresolvable conflict of interest"? I ask this in all seriousness.

        Francis

        -- 
        Dr Francis Sedgemore
        journalist, writer and physicist
        telephone: +44 7840 191336
        website: sedgemore.com

      • Tom Crispin
        This is appalling. To think that our democratically elected council refuse to speak with someone appointed to advise on a strategic vision for cycling in
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 28, 2013
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          This is appalling.

          To think that our democratically elected council refuse to speak with
          someone appointed to advise on a strategic vision for cycling in
          London beggars belief.

          Tom


          On Fri, 28 Jun 2013 12:41:55 +0100, you wrote:

          >GREENWICH COUNCIL
          >
          >WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE 2013
          >
          >PUBLIC QUESTIONS
          >
          >1. Question from Anthony Austin, Deptford, to Councillor Denise Hyland,
          >Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills.
          >
          >The Mayor of London has appointed a Cycling Commissioner with a budget of
          >£100 million for cycling infrastructure in the boroughs. Why is Greenwich
          >the only London borough out of 32 to fail to respond out of courtesy to
          >repeated invitations by the commissioner to discuss ways in which this
          >borough may benefit?
          >
          >
          >
          >Reply-
          >
          >I thank Mr Austin for his question.
          >
          >The Council is engaged with Transport for London regarding the Mayor’s
          >Vision for Cycling. I can confirm that Officers have met with senior
          >representatives from Transport for London to discuss the Royal Borough’s
          >priorities and how they relate to both the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling and
          >the funding packages available. The meeting was extremely constructive with
          >Transport for London indicating that they were very supportive of the work
          >the Borough has undertaken so far and confirming they would work with us
          >
          >to bring forward future proposals in line with the Council’s agreed
          >priorities. In relation to the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, this is a part
          >time post awarded to a Greenwich resident who is a journalist who has
          >blogged and written about significant issues of public policy within
          >Greenwich and it is our view that he has an irresolvable conflict of
          >interest. The Leader of the Council met with his boss, the Deputy Mayor for
          >Transport to agree that liaison on cycling matters would continue to be, as
          >previously, through the officer networks and where necessary at senior
          >political level.
          >
          >
          >
          >Supplementary Question: Are we to understand from Cllr Hyland that Greenwich
          >is the only London borough out of 32 to discuss cycling issues with
          >Transport for London but bypassing the Mayor’s cycling commissioner, and how
          >is that going to work?
          >
          >
          >
          >Reply (not verbatim): “Madame Mayor you know we talked to Transport for
          >London before Mr Gilligan was appointed and we will continue to do so now.
          >We think we’re doing fine with our work to encourage cycling in this
          >borough. Many more people are getting on their bikes and cycling etc. We
          >feel that Mr Gilligan because he has commented on issues to do with
          >Greenwich has a conflict of interest. We think we’re doing fine with our
          >cycling policy.”
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