Stephen Cowan had a right old ding dong at the Council AGM last night over the cuts Hammersmith & Fulham Council will be making to services across our borough.
I wasn't able to make it but the Fulham Chronicle has a good account here, with Stephen Cowan attacking the Tories for forcing as he saw it poor people out of the borough in an attempt to replicate the situation in Paris where the poorest tend to live in the outlying arrondissements (districts) while the inner city areas have been gentrified. It leads to scenes like this.
Stephen Greenhalgh, never a shy retiring type, responded by saying the priority was to eradicate the debt owed by the Council, which he put down to Labour's control of the Town Hall until the Tories took power here nearly 5 years ago.
One Labour attack blog, which I read but rarely quote, is quoting Greenhalgh as saying "we cannot afford to care" - which if true is really an extraordinary statement for any local authority leader to make, let alone one who has been cutting the very services who do care for the most vulnerable for most of the last 4 years - with these sort of consequences. Can anyone confirm that he actually said this?!
1800 UPDATE: The Council's press office have been in touch to point out that yonder attack blog is being very selective in its quotation...he did say it but his full sentence was: "You cannot afford to care if you are swimming in debt and spending millions on debt interest rather than on frontline council services." You can read what he said in full here, along with information about the Council's plans, or "solemn pledge" as they call it, to drive down debt.