Firstly, the cabinet has plenty of opportunities to have private meetings - under the name of majority group, leader's meeting, or even outside the Council as a Party event. There is only one reason for meeting formally as a Council cabinet - and that's to take decisions. Now there are circumstances, defined by Schedule 12A of the 1972 Local Government Act, under which cabinet agenda reports can be classed as 'Exempt' and press and public can be excluded from meetings. The reasons are pretty tight. K&C didn't even attempt to use these grounds, for there was no written report to consider. Instead they sought to use a part of the Council's standing orders that covered preventing public disorder.
So with no report tabled - open or exempt - why the need for a formal cabinet meeting? I suspect that they were intending to take a decision, that a report had been written, and that cabinet could agree to take it without prior publication to all councillors on grounds of 'overwhelming urgency'. If they just wanted a private discussion, why a formal cabinet meeting?
There is something very dodgy about the behaviour of K&C cabinet members here. Sadiq Khan, though, is just making silly little boy's political capital with his request to Mrs May to put the Council under special measures - he knows full well this is reserved for cases of egregious corruption such as the Muslim mafia takeover of Tower Hamlets. London's mayor has just proven himself to be a junior league failure, not fit to play with the big boys. He will be a one-term wonder.
However, the council's new Tory cabinet needs to up its game to prove it can do the job.
|Khan - a failing one-term wonder|