Jobs for the boys

7 Oct

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the allowances paid to Newham councillors and the extraordinary gender imbalance at the top of Sir Robin’s regime. There was, I noted, only one woman in his cabinet.

Now there’s none. Last week Councillor Kay Scoresby was relieved of her responsibilities.

So not a single cabinet member or executive advisor is a woman. Not one. How does Sir Robin get away with it?

The cabinet page on the council’s website glosses over this grotesque state of affairs by placing our own Ellie Robinson at the top of the membership list, but she is not actually a full cabinet member nor an ‘executive advisor’. She is “Deputy Executive Member for Community Affairs”, as is Plaistow councillor Forhad Hussain. Quite why Richard Crawford, the highly-paid executive member for Community Affairs, needs two deputies to help him out at meetings is altogether a different question.

I know there are members of Newham Labour party – including candidates for next year’s election – who are publicly committed to equal representation. Yet Sir Robin carries on unchallenged. Either these people are not paying attention or are too afraid of the consequences (deselection!) to speak out. In either case it is shameful.

UPDATE (14 October 2013):

Sir Robin could not live for long without his name being at the top of the list, so Ellie Robinson now appears about halfway down, sandwiched between the cabinet members and the executive advisors.

Of the 16 people listed as attending cabinet, she remains the only woman. And the gender imbalance at the top of the council remains a disgrace.

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