Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Boris accused of gerrymandering the Fire Authority

Boris Johnson is being accused of "gerrymandering" as he tries to keep the Conservatives in charge of the Fire Authority despite big election losses.

The Tories had been expected to lose their majority on LFEPA after their disappointing local election results last month.

However, the Mayor has now decided to change the way seats are allocated in order to maintain a "strong leadership" of the board.

The current chair Brian Coleman will also be kept on despite the many controversies of the past two years.

Justifying his proposals Boris wrote that:

"I believe that at a time when there are many important decisions to be taken about the modernisation of London's fire and emergency planning arrangements it is important that the authority's constitution enables it to act decisively."

In order to do this, Boris is to increase the number of Conservative Assembly members on the board from three to four and decrease Labour's share from three to two.

This is despite the fact that there has been no change in the makeup of the Assembly since the 2008 elections.

As a sop to the Labour group, they will be given an extra seat on the soon to be scrapped Metropolitan Police Authority instead.

The Conservatives argue that the current constitution is unfair with Labour holding the same amount of Assembly seats on LFEPA despite having fewer Assembly members overall.

However, the Chair of the London Assembly Dee Doocey has written to Boris asking him to reconsider his proposals. He has not replied.

Brian Coleman has also written to the Lib Dems asking them to climb into his big Conservative bed on the fire authority.

I understand that this generous offer will be refused.

1 comment:

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Now that is a low blow, even for Boris.