Annual Council Meeting, 17 May 2023

22 May, 2023 | Council-level work

Every year, the council holds an Annual Meeting at which it decides some procedural matters for the coming year. The highlights are the election of a new Speaker – or the confirmation of the current one, confirmation of the Cabinet for the coming year, confirmation of committee chairs.

At this meeting, I chose to make a speech reflecting on the past year and looking ahead. You can watch my speech below:

The webcast of my speech to the AGM on 17 May 2023

My speech is written out here:

“Thank you Speaker for the opportunity to speak on your new appointment.

I want to congratulate you but also thank Cllr Ahmed for his services over the past year. I think we can all agree that you made a great and memorable impression on this chamber.

I hope that our incoming speaker Cllr Choudhury will preside over these meetings with the same good humour and fair hand as Cllr Ahmed.

In congratulating the new Speaker, I want to use the opportunity to cast back over the past year and look forward to the coming one.

The past year has been the most challenging of my life but also the most rewarding. This is not only a personal milestone – it also one year since the election of the first Green councillor in the borough.

I’ve been honoured to participate in the Council’s democracy and represent the residents of Bow West in this chamber and beyond.

A particular highlight from the past year was the unanimous passing of the motion reaffirming Tower Hamlets’s Fair Trade status.

However, there are also significant low points which stick in my memory, for example the Aspire Party’s insistence on supporting the Silvertown Tunnel and the debate around the removal of the Chisenhale School Street, from which Aspire councillors and the Mayor were conspicuously absent.

Another frustration of mine in the meetings of Full Council has been apparent filibustering by the Aspire Group to avoid getting to members questions. I would like to remind all councillors but particularly our new Speaker that the time we waste in this chamber is not our time – it’s the public’s time. Filibustering wastes the time that our residents need us to use debating issues that matter to them.

I hope our new Speaker will preside over more positive debates but particularly that he will ensure that we use our time in the most effective way possible in the coming year.”


Category: Council-level work