An Islington Councillor's rummagings amongst the knotted and thorny issues of life in our Borough.
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Campaigning for the Mayoral Election on track
The St Peters Election machine is swinging into action again, with canvassing sessions taking place throughout the weekends, and most weekday evenings. Support for Labour is strong in the ward, and as usual at election time, we seem to get additional help from lots of directions. Last Saturday morning the 'A' team consisted of (l-r) Luke, Cllr Alice Perry the human dynamo, myself, Ben, Nick, Felix and Daniel. Pic by Cllr Klute jnr.
The main purpose of this blog is to put forward comments on issues in the Borough that I find of particular interest, with an emphasis on issues and events in St Peters Ward, where I live, and which is the ward I have been elected to represent.
In May 2009 I was elected chair of the Health and Care Scrutiny Committee, which has given me the opportunity to turn the spotlight on the accountability of Healthcare services in Islington, and in particular to question issues such as the PCT's attempts to force closure of Finsbury Health Centre and the Whittington A&E department. More recently, the damaging effects of the Tory Government cuts to the Health Service (in spite of their pledge to "ring-fence" health spending), the chaos and fragmentation caused by their ill-considered re-organisation of the NHS, the consequences for patient safety, and most recently, the crisis in A&E and the ambulance service, all of which seems to be the inevitable consequence of Tory mismanagement of the NHS.
In May 2010, I became vice-chair of the new Borough-wide Planning Committee, and Chair of planning sub-committee 'B'. I have been working hard with colleagues and officers to improve the quality and performance of the Borough's planning service, and I think we are making good progress. We also supported the introduction of an architect-led Design Review Panel, which is making major improvements to the quality of the design of applications we receive across the Borough.
I continue to enjoy my involvement in more borough-wide issues, and I am keen to ensure that residents across the borough are treated fairly and transparently by the planning service. However, my first priority remains my Ward, and my constituents.
Labour Councillor for St Peters Ward. First elected May 2006 along with Cllr Gary Doolan. Our 2006 election unseated all three Lib-Dem Councillors, including the then Leader of the Council, whose name we shall not mention. We were successfully re-elected in 2010 with a much increased majority. We were joined in 2011 by the human dynamo Alice Perry, who was elected with a 52% majority, and who has lost no time getting herself elected onto Labour's National Policy Forum. We have since been re-elected again in 2014, with a phenomenal absolute majority in St Peters ward, and a part of a victory that has seen Labour take 47 of the 48 seats on the Council, and has lead to the Borough being compared unfavourably to North Korea by one grumpy LibDem ex-Councillor who didn't expect to lose his seat.
Follow me on Twitter: @martinklute