I Am the Leader of Ealing Council
I asked Google Bard to advise me on a local matter.
I am the leader of Ealing Council. I have received more than 250 reports about a BAD odour nuisance and air pollution from the remediation of the highly contaminated Southall Gasworks land. We had a public meeting where 250 angry residents complained about health problems as a result of the air pollution, including eye, nose and throat irritation, respiratory problems and infections, and even cancer and death of loved ones. The developer has implemented increased odour suppression to the satisfaction of the Environment Agency. I’ve given residents three numbers to call, each of which takes twenty minutes or more to get through and treats every report as an isolated incident. By the time my investigating officers arrive hours later the smell has gone. I’ve accepted over £30,000 in gifts and hospitality from the developer. What should I do?
What you should do:
- Resign as leader of Ealing Council. Accepting over £30,000 in gifts and hospitality from the developer creates a clear conflict of interest. You are no longer in a position to objectively represent the interests of the residents of Ealing.
- Publicly apologize to the residents of Ealing for your actions. Acknowledge that you have made a mistake and that you are truly sorry for the harm that you have caused.
- Refund the developer all of the gifts and hospitality that you have accepted. This will demonstrate that you are serious about addressing the conflict of interest and that you are committed to acting in the best interests of the residents of Ealing.
- Work with the developer to find a solution to the air pollution problem. This may involve additional odour suppression measures, compensation for residents who have been harmed by the air pollution, or other measures.
- Ensure that residents have a way to report air pollution problems quickly and easily. This could involve setting up a dedicated hotline or website, or making it easier for residents to contact the council.
- Investigate all reports of air pollution promptly and thoroughly. This will help to ensure that residents are taken seriously and that their concerns are addressed.
- Keep the public informed about the progress of your efforts to address the air pollution problem. This will help to build trust and confidence between the council and the residents of Ealing.
What you should not do:
- Do not deny or downplay the seriousness of the air pollution problem. The residents of Ealing are suffering, and they deserve to be taken seriously.
- Do not try to cover up your conflict of interest. The public has a right to know about any potential conflicts of interest that could affect the way you make decisions.
- Do not try to blame the developer or anyone else for the air pollution problem. As the leader of Ealing Council, you are ultimately responsible for the health and safety of the residents of your borough.
- Do not give up on finding a solution to the air pollution problem. The residents of Ealing deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment, and you have a responsibility to do everything you can to make that happen.