Losing the veil that covered objectivity

PUBLISHED: 14:23 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 05 October 2010

IT WAS interesting to see Ted Jeory cast aside his veil of objectivity to reveal a nasty little streak of animosity to Labour councillors in last week s Trial by Jeory. Of course, Labour runs the council and so the East London Advertiser is absolutely

IT WAS interesting to see Ted Jeory cast aside his veil of objectivity to reveal a nasty little streak of animosity to Labour councillors in last week's Trial by Jeory.

Of course, Labour runs the council and so the East London Advertiser is absolutely right to challenge our record and criticise us when things go wrong. That applies every bit as much to our individual performance as the things we say and do collectively. But to condemn Labour councillors as "pathetic" "half-wits" who "don't give a toss about anyone" is more than just wrong. Quite frankly, its a bit of a liberty.

We might not have the written or verbal talents of Ted Jeory. We might not run a £1 billion pound a year organisation as well as Archant runs its bank of local newspapers. And we might sometimes have an inflated opinion of the contribution we make. But I for one don't doubt Labour councillors' commitment to serve the people they represent - even when they are arguing against something I passionately believe in!

If all the evidence the Advertiser can muster for this partisan attack is a bit of midnight wailing by an anonymous disgruntled councillor, then I reckon that says a whole lot more about your reporter's judgment than it does about our performance.

Finally, for those readers who did not have the magnifying glass needed to spot your coverage of this news last week, I am pleased to confirm that Labour councillors have asked me to give our leaseholders a further £50 rebate on their admin charge for 2007/08. This money will be credited to accounts in the autumn.

This was the news Council Leader, Lutfur Rahman and I shared with leaseholders after the council meeting. We recognise that this is not the independent audit some want. And we gave a commitment to keep that under consideration, while we work to bear down on actual costs and deliver better value for money in the coming months.

Ted Jeory might reckon that's just another example of Labour not giving a toss about anyone. But the leaseholders I have spoken to so far tell me it is a helpful step in the right direction. I know whose judgment I trust. It seems it's not just us politicians who occasionally suffer from inflated egos!

Cllr Marc Francis

Lead Member

Housing & Development

Tower Hamlets Council

TED JEORY writes: It seems Cllr Francis needs to practise his reading "talents". My criticisms of the section of Labour councillors who consistently fail to say anything at Town Hall meetings related not to him or the £50 rebate (on costs overcharged by Labour administrations incidentally), but to their decision to veto a debate on leaseholder service charges in general. Egos do not come into it, however much the councillor wishes to personalise and deflect attention away from the issue.

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