Anyone for Scrabble?

It’s an important Council meeting. Topics of relevance to the people of the Borough are up for discussion. You’re part of the opposition group. You want to scrutinise the plans of those in power and hold them to account. And so how do you decide to do this? Why, through the medium of Scrabble of course. What’s not to love about this picture from last Tuesday’s Council meeting at El Brute as snapped by Twickenham Riverside Tory Councillor Helen Hill.

It shows ‘Elengorn’ (he’s a Liberal Democrat Councillor for Teddington as opposed to a character in Lord of the Rings) having a dabble at Scrabble on his tablet. As Councillor Hill told us, “I was surprised to see him playing board games during an important budget meeting”. Quite.

Anyone for Scrabble? (Picture credit: Helen Hill)

Anyone for Scrabble?
(Picture credit: Helen Hill)

Speaking up in his own defence, Cllr Elengorn is quoted on the Richmond and Twickenham Times website as saying, “The only way of making it through Councillor Samuel’s bombastic boasts is to try and distract the mind. Unfortunately, I am capable of doing two things at once and every word registered. I don’t think I was the only one playing games, but I won’t name names”. Oh go on, please do!

Meanwhile the outcome of the meeting was that El Brute confirmed its budget for 2015/16 including Council tax remaining frozen for another year. However some fees and charges will increase to cover reductions in grants from central government.

LINKS:
* Richmond & Twickenham Times – Council Tax Freeze

20 Comments

Filed under Council, Pix of the Week, Random Stuff

20 responses to “Anyone for Scrabble?

  1. Anonymous

    I cannot understand anyone supporting an elected person from playing a game in a council meeting. If people think this is a snitch at school then that is ridiculous, If i was at work and was caught in a meeting playing a game i would definitely get reprimanded in some way. One rule for elected council members and another for normal people.

    • Sally

      The number of people who fiddle on phones and iPads at work meetings is amazing, and it’s hard to check that they are all only looking up things crucial to the topic at hand. But think: If you were caught out playing some sort of game at a meeting, you would expect to be reprimanded by your boss or colleagues.
      What would you think if one of your colleagues,instead of doing that, posted a video of you on line?

    • Anonymous

      Is the problem really about someone having a video posted online? I am not an elected councillor. The business I work for employees over 2000 people and I have been in hundreds of meetings and always people have the right etiquette to not fiddle during a meeting. I think there is a disconnect between what you can do in the public sector and the private sector.

    • dellboy

      in the public sector you have opposing views and point scoring at meetings, each statement can and usually is a party political broadcast.
      Members of the opposing party can and will show disinterest to the speech.
      In this particular speech the councillor described a four year finance plan, in general outline. All the detail is in the written report.
      In the private sector at a meeting, you are all on the same team generally aiming in the same direction. A different ball game.

    • Alexis

      Come on Sally – calling opposing Councillors “colleagues” really is pushing it a bit. I think of them much more as competitors engaged in a semi-civilised battle for the right to rule us as they see fit.

      If anyone is in any doubt they might like to keep an eye on the letter pages in the R&TT where a spat has been ongoing ever since Robin Meltzer, LibDem PPC for Richmond Park made a rather tacky attack on Zac Goldsmith’s tax status. I thought it was a bit opportunistic and would probably irritate many more than it pleased. It certainly irritated ex Tory (and ex LibDem) Councillor Marc Cranfield-Adams who put up a robust defence only to have his response somewhat twisted by LibDem Councillor (and joint Deputy Leader) Gareth Roberts. That led to an aggrieved response from M C-A and support from Tory Councillors Linnette and Marcel. Today Roberts has submitted a response which is masterful if somewhat complicatedly tediuos, so much so that, despite re-reading it, the only bit I can remember is the fact that cabinet meetings are not filmed.
      I am reminded of the wonderful put down by John Bercow when he recently silenced MP Chris Bryant thus: “You are an exceptionally clever man, no one is more aware of your cleverness than you”. Despite his obvious brilliance, Roberts might like to reflect on the fact that less is often more.
      I digress a bit but hope that Sally takes my point about competitors vs colleagues. Anyway, where would we be without a bit of “mild ribbing” as Sir David Williams once described his unpleasant attack on a resident who had dared to challenge him?
      Alexis

    • dellboy

      any relevant information will be in the written report, not read out at length in committee.
      Having listened online to the speech, it was praise for all who had helped and derision for other parties IE boring.

  2. twickerman

    Let’s all do some Cllr Hill spotting.
    If anyone detects her doing anything remotely useful for Twickenham Riverside residents please let us know immediately…because it will be a first!
    Some say she’s the new Cllr Salvoni.

    • Alexis

      I’m amused to note that Twickerman has forwarded my faux compliment to LibDem Councillor Gareth Roberts via Twitter with the following comment: “You appear to have a new admirer” – hardly the most private medium for a bit of sycophancy!
      Perhaps that puts his condemnation of Tory Twickenham Riverside Councillor Helen Hill into perspective?
      Alexis

    • Greg Diamond

      Twickerman is always looking for a bit of attention he seems to spend his life on twitter.

  3. illiad1

    BUT!!!! where is the link about elengorn playing Scrabble???

  4. Amir Tahir

    ‘And the Goody Two-Shoes of the Month Award goes to Cllr Helen Hill, Conservative representative for Pyongyang Riverside………….’

  5. Pat Pending

    Ha. Next time he’ll need to play on his phone instead. A bit silly but let he or she who is without meeting-related-sin cast the first stone.

    • Dorothy

      Councillors are elected to represent residents not to play games during important meetings.

    • Paul

      Councillors are elected to represent residents. If they do that effectively how they cope with bombastic speeches is up to them.

    • Greg Diamond

      I don’t think being asleep during the meeting is fulfilling your duties as a Councilllor. He ought to resign.

  6. Dorothy

    Councillor Hill is a complete joke. She attends lots of meetings with a degree of arrogance but has only ever spoken up once in a meeting since being elected and that was to present a petition on behalf of those residents who support abortions. Hardly a pressing matter. I also watched the webcast online and there some excellent footage of Councillor Hill playing on her iphone.

    • Alexis

      Excellent Dorothy – can you post a short cut to the Helen Hill iphone footage. I can’t find it.
      Many thanks.
      Alexis.

    • Dorothy

      Hello Alexis

      Sorry I am not that great with computers but if you click on the webcast:

      http://www.richmond.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/164621

      Scroll to 02:00 and you will see the Councillor siting to the right of Hill playing on his iphone scrolling up and down the screen. Five minutes after that you will see Hill playing on her iphone.

      Hope this helps.

      Dorothy

    • Alexis

      Thank you Dorothy,
      I’ve tried but still can’t spot the Helen Hill iphone stuff – perhaps she was setting it up to take the infamous Elengorn photo?
      I ploughed through an awful lot of it. Some speakers are extremely tedious – no wonder Elengorn and others were bored, however, having been a Councillor for at least 30 years he must know what he’s in for, so why keep slogging on? Perhaps he’s not too keen on being in opposition for a change.
      One speaker stood out. LibDem joint deputy leader and Hampton Councillor Gareth Roberts, but then, he knows he’s a pretty cool dude so can be forgiven for sounding a bit like the wonderful Alan B’Stard. By contrast Councillor Knight seemed positively lacklustre. Time to step aside – perhaps?
      Alexis

  7. Cllr Hill’s comment smacks of snitches at school who come out with snide remarks as though they are the shining beacons of goodness. She would do well to remember that she lifted not a finger to support her supposed constituents over the Gloriana debacle. I have no doubt that Cllr Elengorn isn’t the only one in the chamber seeking a distraction. I’d think it might be best to keep schtum lest the finger points back at you next time, methinks.