On the heels of our most recent post one of our members wrote to Cllr Foreman challenging him to explain how he will be able to continue to fully represent the good people of Notting Barns if he no longer lives in the ward and intends to spend all his time canvassing for votes in Bath?
He went on to ask Cllr Foreman if he did not feel a moral obligation to resign, and challenged him to do so without delay and allow someone who actually lives in the Borough, and cares about Notting Barns constituents, to stand in his place. To our great surprise this email received no response from Foreman himself, just the following rather officious and contemptuous email from Robert Atkinson, the Labour Chief Whip at RBKC
“I am writing in response to your e-mail to Cllr. Foreman as I am Chief Whip of the Labour Group and responsible for Group performance.
The rules for councillor resignations are laid down in statute. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s constitution states in Article 2, para. (b) below:
2.04 Membership of Committees
(b) If a member (including a co-opted member) fails throughout a period of six consecutive months to attend any meetings of a committee or, delivery board to which he or she has been appointed or co-opted, they will cease to be a member of that committee or group unless their absence is due to a reason which has been previously approved.
Cllr. Foreman attends all meetings of the council, committees, working groups, voluntary sector organisations and the school governing body to which he has been appointed. He carries out his Saturday surgery duties in accordance with the ward councillors’ surgery rota and he deals assiduously with his Notting Barns casework.”
We feel that Foreman should at least have done us the courtesy of replying personally to the email he received from our colleague, who is after all one of his constituents, and is perfectly entitled to challenge his behaviour in this way.
We would also remind the Labour apparatchiks at RBKC that we are not some right wing Tory pressure group seeking to do to a little mischief. On the contrary we are a decidedly left wing local action group, as they well know, and would claim, with good reason, to represent significant numbers of the working class in the Labour heartland of Notting Barns.
Perhaps Atkinson and his colleagues would be well advised to treat us with a little more respect, particularly if they have ambitions, which they surely do, to stand for re-election in these same seats at the next and subsequent local elections
Check out some interesting further discussion of this issue at the Hornet’s Nest Blog: