Earlier this month I highlighted how Londoners will have to wait until May 8th to read the answers to questions Assembly Members asked Boris in March.
A number of AMs have continued to grumble about the situation but remain powerless to force the information to be uploaded to the website – though they are at least now permitted to forward them to constituents and journalists.
It’s also stopping AMs from holding meetings this month and, because it finished at the very end of working hours the day before the blackout came into effect, has prevented any promotion of AMs’ robust kicking of the train bosses presiding over chaos at London Bridge.
Yet while City Hall is forced to reduce its public profile to a level that renders it almost invisible, London’s local councils continue to hold meetings in public and on the record.
A quick trawl through the boroughs’ websites revealed that dozens of meetings, from planning hearings to full cabinet sessions, are being held this month.
The rules seem to apply to City Hall more strictly than to other tiers of government but it’s a shame that meetings couldn’t be scheduled which prevent Boris – a candidate in the general election – from grandstanding without allowing the Met and TfL to go unscrutinised.
The same blanket shutdown occurred during last year’s local elections meaning this is the second time in 12 months that City Hall’s 26 politicians have been freed up to campaign while still being paid by taxpayers.
The summer recess will result in no meetings being held between the end of July and sometime in September, and public activity will once again be stopped next March because of the Mayoral and Assembly elections in 2016
By the time Boris’s term ends, he and his agencies will have been spared public scrutiny for something close to five months on top of the annual summer breaks – that may be welcomed by some of his less capable officials but it’s hardly in the interests of Londoners.