I share the frustration of many in our borough that we still find ourselves without the services of a Chief Executive. This has not been for want of trying on my behalf. But I take very real exception to the intervention of Labour Group leader, Joshua Peck on this matter. For the truth is that Councillor Peck originally supported a candidate most of us believed was both the most experienced and best qualified for the job. The fact that he subsequently changed his mind, along with the leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Peter Golds is a now a matter of public record.
To discover Councillor Peck is now telling the media that he is concerned that Tower Hamlets “cannot be left rudderless”, and claims that the council has been without a “Chief Executive for too long”, would be vaguely amusing, if it were not for the case that Councillor Peck appears not to wish to bare any responsibility for the actions of his Group in blocking the appointment of a Chief Executive at the full meeting of the council on May 16th this year. Due to the actions both he and Councillor Golds embarked upon, our local authority now faces legal challenges that were wholly avoidable.
This was a particularly shameful intervention on Councillor Peck’s behalf, and I had hoped to see some degree of contrition from him. There will be many in the Labour Party locally and nationally, who will have been appalled to learn that there is in effect a Tory/Labour coalition in this borough.
In the time since Labour and the Tories colluded to block the appointment of a Chief Executive, I have done my level best to attempt to break the log jam and move the process forward. So it is rich in the extreme for Councillor Peck to call, as he does, for me “to join us in our attempts to find a workeable solution”. He has failed at evey opportunity to do just that, and engaged in the type of political activity more often seen in a Student Union. I am always willing to listen to serious suggestions that may help us undo the damage that has been done in recent weeks, but it is high time time that Councillor Peck engaged in some grown up politics for us to do so.