With the new Public Questions format introduced recently, the wider community  literally has no idea as to what the public question was, nor the answer, if the questioner was not present in the gallery at the time the item comes up in the agenda. Given that public questions occur at the end of the meeting (and this can be hours and hours later) it is no wonder that some residents might simply give up and leave or simply cannot abide the thought of 2 to 2 and a half hours of woeful arguments and plenty of hot air and grandstanding. Nor do these new protocols take into consideration that someone might be ill and unable to attend.

Councillors Hyams, Lipshutz, Esakoff, Pilling,and Ho have therefore successfully limited public access to resident views and queries since the questions and responses are not recorded in the minutes. We’ve however been able to subvert this anti-democratic practice by publishing one of these questions! Please note the answer and make up your own minds as to its veracity and faithful ‘reporting’ of events.