Last night a near capacity crowd came to Battersea Arts Centre to question the Mayor and 19 members of the London Assembly on their work and policies.
These twice-yearly meetings were one of the better aspects of the original GLA bill although at only 2 per year it’ll take a few Mayoral terms for every Borough to get their turn at hosting one.
So for that reason even Boris Johnson’s fiercest critics should welcome his decision to hold 4 more ‘consultation meetings’ every year.
Most of last night’s questions were very good – a series on police numbers got good, detailed answers from the Mayor, Jenny Jones and Kit Malthouse (see the AudioBoo below) and a visually impaired questioner did a great job of highlighting the problems he faces accessing tube stations.
This question ties for ‘best of the night’ with one from a younger member of the audience who asked about the need for the Police to seek a constructive relationship with the capital’s youth.
Not condemning all young people is something the Mayor has spoken on before so he was happy to agree that we should talk up the achievements of younger Londoners.
However there were many people who didn’t get to ask a question, partly because some of those who did were elected Councillors and, if I heard correctly, a Labour London Assembly candidate.
People’s Question Time should be just that – a time for the people of London to ask questions of politicians they rarely encounter.
Those of us who who can fire off an email to City Hall or, in the case of Borough Mayors and Councillors, can write direct to the Mayor and key members of his team really should let the wider public ‘own’ such events.
They were never intended to be a platform for party stablemates or political opponents to grandstand and score petty points.
If you’re an elected or ‘wannabe’ elected figure and are thinking of going along to a future PQT please remember – the night’s not about you, your ego or your electoral hopes.
Keep your question to yourself and let the real public voice their concerns.