29 November 2006

Brockley Cross Action Group AGM

I went to the Brockley Cross Action Group (BXAG) AGM this evening. As usual this was a good opportunity to get an update on the projects that the BXAG has been actively working on over the past year or so. These successes included the completion of Phase I of the Brockley Common plan to open up the access to the Brockley Station.

For further information visit the website http://www.brockley.com/bcag.

The meeting was not without a degree of controversy. Ex-councillors for Brockley Ward, Terry Scott & Jimi Adefiranye along with unsuccessful Labour candidate Rosie Fooks in May 2006 had all nominated themselves for the board of Trustees for the BXAG - which is a registered charity. However, the charity's trustees had not accepted Jimi's nomination. The reason given was that Jimi had not played an active role in a sub-committee over the previous year. Jimi did not challenge that particular assertion - but was clearly upset at having been excluded on this basis. Needless to say there were some harsh words from Jimi & others; in the end there was a vote on whether the new rules 'have played an active role in a sub-committee over the previous year' was put to a vote - the meeting decided 11-10 to overturn the rules. The votes of Terry Scott & Rosie Fooks clearly were decisive; myself and Cllr Darren Johnson abstained on this point. Thus Jimi's nomination was reinstated.

The Trustees en-masse were then voted on by the meeting and this was agreed with no votes against.

In his defence I do think that Jimi had an important point to make about the distinct lack of black & minority ethnic involvement in the group (but it must be said that the Group has made positive attempts to address this) and there is a point of principle that it seems whilst the rules surrounding the eligibility of nominees for the Trustees appear to have been established sometime ago, the formalisation of this policy occured after Jimi had submitted his nomination.

I sincerely hope that the new board of Trustees can put some of the negativity of this meeting behind themselves and move forward with all the good projects they have established. For the record, the Brockley Ward Councillors, Cllr Darren Johnson, Cllr Romayne Phoenix & myself look forward to another year working with the group and helping to make this part of Brockley a better place to live in.

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