The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, one of the GLA functional bodies, met today at City Hall to establish the first Conservative administration in its history. Chairman and Leader of LFEPA Councillor Brian Coleman AM – who is appointed by Boris Johnson – led an Extraordinary Meeting of the Authority where the Conservative Group benefitted from the recent defection of Lambeth councillor Betty Evans-Jacas, giving the Conservatives a working majority of one.
As part of Boris' dynamic team Brian is determined to ensure that this opportunity is used to progress crucial modernisation programmes, some of which have fallen foul of political wrecking tactics by the Lib-Lab pact in recent months. London Fire was the first fire authority to secure an emergency cover contract after government abolished army support and the Green Goddesses, and as the first fire chairman to advocate a pay freeze for members and officers Brian and London Fire were ahead of the curve when David Cameron proposed the same at the recent party conference. Other programmes, such as the modernisation of shift patterns, are now able to be progressed.
The opposition groups each tabled a number of amendments to a Conservative Motion reconstituting the committees of the Authority, and tried appealing to the Mayoral Appointees for support, but were not able to out-vote the new administration. Labour Group Leader Councillor Navin Shah was repeatedly ruled Out-of-Order by the Chairman as he persistently threw personal remarks at Conservative members.
The Motion saw Councillor Maurice Heaster installed as Deputy Leader with responsibility for Finance and Councillor Bertha Joseph appointed as Deputy Chair with responsibility for Community Outreach. Mayoral
Appointee David Cartwright takes responsibility for Health and Safety, Councillor Rebekah Gilbert retains her role as Liaison member for Human Resources and Equality and Councillor Betty Evans-Jacas remains as Liaison Member for Performance Management and Community Safety. Alderman Simon Walsh remains as Chairman of the Audit Committee.