Thursday, 31 May 2012

Greenhalgh's grilling today

Stephen Greenhalgh is in the hot seat today as members of the London Assembly decide whether or not to approve his appointment to the post of Deputy Mayor for Policing. The post was offered to Mr Greenhalgh by Boris Johnson almost immediately following his election, but was then followed by farcical scenes as H&F's sitting Leader tried to cling on to his council seat in our borough. The law did not permit this and after days of confusion he eventually agreed to stand down from H&F politics altogether.

I would quite like Assembly Members to ask Mr Greenhalgh about his listening skills. Listening and responding to communities is a key element of any policing role, but our Council Leader has exhibited a consistent willingness to ignore communities every time they tell him something he doesn't want to hear. 

On Shepherd's Bush Market and the Goldhawk Road this landed our Council in court in a case which they then lost, costing tens of thousands of pounds. Yet on the same day they issued a breezy press release claiming that they would go ahead anyway.

And on the West Ken Estate this extraordinary letter from the community organiser describes in depth how residents who disagree with the Council's plans to demolish their estate are not only ignored but willfully obstructed under spurious "data protection" grounds. 

This is likely to be the last time Mr Greenhalgh ever has to publicly account for his actions on both of these situations, and I hope members of the Assembly take them up with him directly.

In the meantime, even the Evening Boris' City Hall correspondent is sounding the alarm bells..

1255 UPDATE: Well, the issues did crop up. Caroline Pidgeon, of the Lib Dems on the Assembly, quoted Greenhalgh’s behaviour over the Market & Goldhawk Road scheme and asked “how on earth” would he perform his listening role when he had manifestly divided communities? 

Greenhalgh said that the Council had to “learn from” their Court defeat and expected Nick Botterill, his successor, to do so. 

So I’ll be in touch with Mr Botterill to understand how he intends to learn from it…

FRIDAY UPDATE - I'm delighted to publish the CV that former H&F Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh supplied to his hearing yesterday, at which he was confirmed as the Deputy Mayor for Policing. It makes interesting reading for H&F residents, so I am sure he and our Council will be pleased that it is now publicly available:

(click bottom right box - "view in full screen")

Greenhalgh CV


  1. Here is the link to the confirmation (?) hearing.
    Meeting starts at 10.00 - Greeenhalgh is scheduled to appear at 11:45.

  2. Good synopsis from

    Stephen Greenhalgh also went in front of the Policing and Crime Committee to persuade them to confirm him in the role of Deputy Mayor for Policing. We’ve had job interviews where we’ve had to convince an employer that even though we might not have direct experience of the job we’re applying for, we have marvellous transferable skills that mean we’ll do it very well. That’s exactly how the meeting came across – Greenhalgh kept referring to his time at Hammersmith and Fulham and, rather bizarrely, Robert Peel, his dad and the Gordon Riots (topical).
    The general feeling was that he’s got a steep learning curve ahead of him which, by that appraisal, leaves policing in London during the Olympics under the management of someone with less than a full grasp of the job.
    The Committee decided not to object to the appointment, rather than recommend it.

  3. Comment from at least one member of the Committee was that the CV seemed a bit light.
    Greenhalgh's endorsement from Boris was on the basis that he had cut costs at LBH&F and conjured up a few more police for the local Safer Neighbourhood teams. He is now tasked to do this London-wide. Also tasked to look at the MPS asset + property portfolio - at one point, seemed to imply he would close police stations.
    Committee had their backs to the wall, as too close to the Olympics to say "No" to the appointment and find another candidate. However, has Greenhalgh been set up, so that, if he fails, Boris takes the blame for his appointment?