Labour Councillors have demanded to know why Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Westminster North, Councillor Lindsey Hall, was absent from Wednesday night’s Budget Council meeting and missed a crucial vote to restore the Council’s proposed £751,000 cut to Westminster’s children’s centres, play and youth services.
Last month, when lobbied by parents using the under-threat Essendine play service, Councillor Hall claimed she was “determined to fight hard to ensure this valued service is protected” http://www.lindseyhall.co.uk/future_of_play
However, Councillor Hall’s absence from the most important Council meeting of the year means that she failed to back up her words of support with action to vote for a Labour amendment to the Budget that would have reversed the cuts to these valuable play services for young children and their parents.
Eight of Westminster’s 44 Councillors were absent from Wednesday night’s Council meeting. Two Councillors sent their apologies (the Lord Mayor was at a Dinner in the City and another Councillor has a slipped disc). However, the other six Conservatives, including Councillor Hall, simply did not attend the Budget meeting and no apologies were given. All 16 Labour Councillors were present at the Council meeting.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“I am sure that residents will make their own minds up about Councillor Hall’s failure to attend the Council meeting on Wednesday and her failure to vote on reversing the cuts to Westminster’s children’s centres, play and youth services. This issue has dominated local parental concerns over recent months and Councillor Hall’s failure to ‘stand up and be counted’ in support of the Essendine play service, despite her earlier promises to parents, is a sad day for many local families, particularly in Maida Vale and St John’s Wood.”
“The fact that almost 20% of Conservative Councillors were absent from the most important Council meeting of the year shows their contempt for Westminster residents. The Budget meeting has been in the Council diary since the elections last May. Have the Conservatives gone on strike or is it that they just don’t care? Has their arrogance no limits?”