A political storm has blown up with twickerati right at its heart. After a midweek bust up in the comments section of this very site relating to the Twickenham station podium plan, a Liberal Democrat Councillor has entered the fray in a letter to the Richmond & Twickenham times. In a broadside (published in the Richmond & Twickenham Times on 14th January, page 23, that’s the third page of letters, print edition only, blink and you’ll miss it) Councillor Gareth Roberts, the Lib Dem representative for Hampton, lambasts a fellow councillor who used twickerati to describe the CO2 based parking charges of the previous administration as “laughable” and indicated that more time spent discussing the issue would be a waste of three hours. So what? Well the meeting in question was of LBRuT’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee who were convening to assess, among other things, if Tory Councillor Clare Head had decided to introduce the new parking scheme before listening to all the arguments. In his letter Cllr Roberts slams “certain Conservative back benchers” for being “seemingly prepared to abegnate their responsbility to ensure that decisions taken by cabinet receive due scrutiny”. Roberts then goes on to do some more slamming followed by a touch more lambasting.
With a Committee convened to consider the issue of “pre-detemination” Roberts does have a point when suggesting that making public comments about the meeting beforehand might not be the best course of action. But does that mean that those attending aren’t able to properly consider the issues on the day? Let’s hope not. And of course with the reasons for the “call-in” being supplied by two Lib Dem Councillors some might say that, like most things in Council-land, the issue was already heavily politicised. You decide.
But one thing’s for sure, the surge of readers flocking to this site in their tens after Gareth Roberts namechecked twickerati (half way down the second column, blink again and you’ll miss it) was most welcome. Cheers.