When you say “they all expressed their discomfort and unhappiness” – how do you know this? Most people were silent and said no words at all in the meeting, and I can’t remember any polling occurring on the way out, asking us what we each thought. It was clear from what people themselves admitted or were overheard discussing on leaving, that some came to the meeting from Tooting or other areas outside Shaftesbury. This meant that a meeting designed for locals was diverted by too many who were not local. It doesn’t mean the issues of Tooting Common aren’t important or that people around Lavender Hill don’t care about anything beyond the immediate area, simply that it left you wondering if people have to go to Tooting or Northcote Road to raise issues directly about (for example) Shaftesbury schools or rubbish collection on Eversleigh Road.
As a Governor of Shaftesbury Park school, you must have seen the irony in the screaming and abuse hurled around – if a teacher at the school experienced the same from a child there, would that be seen as acceptable by parents of other children whose class may be being disrupted? I’m sure it would not have been acceptable. Nor should it have been, really, from grown adults, no matter how passionately they felt about the issues. Personally I felt sorry for those who had hoped to hear more from the council officers present and for the person chairing the meeting, and all 3 of you Councillors, for whom the evening was pretty much a waste of time – it was disappointing you all didn’t show more support for the lady who was chairing the meeting….she wasn’t local, clearly, and you were one of her hosts – it doesn’t matter if you aren’t all from the same political party, you all had an equal duty to work together to make that meeting more productive. You yourself could have spoken out to make it a better meeting, and brought order to it, if you had wished to, but you didn’t. You could have done so if only for the sake of the officers who gave up their evening and sat patiently and quietly on the sidelines, there to serve the residents and councillors present without recourse to political point scoring.