I WAS interested to see that Councillor Stephen Cowan, the Labour opposition leader on Hammersmith and Fulham Council, has complained that the council leader, Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh, missed the last value for money scrutiny committee.
As chairman of that committee naturally I'm sorry when people can't make it.
But before Mr Cowan becomes too sanctimonious shouldn't he reflect on his own attendance record?
In 2009 the committee met on January 27, April 20, June 9, July 15, September 15 and November 17. Mr Cowan missed four of the six meetings and turned up late to one of the other two.
Among the items Mr Cowan missed was one about getting a detailed, intelligible breakdown of the council's budget available on the website. Some progress is being made on this.
As opposition leader, Mr Cowan picks up an extra £17,874 a year on top of his basic councillor's allowance of £8,940. He makes lots of speeches at the full council meetings - which are often rousing in style, albeit contradictory in content. Understandably, he seeks to engage in political point scoring.
But with all that money he is paid should he not also engage in some serious, constructive scrutiny? The value for money scrutiny committee is the only scrutiny committee he sits on... and he usually doesn't even turn up.
Mr Greenhalgh generally has a good attendance record. He works hard as council leader, although he is not full time. He also runs his own business - a medical publishing company based in the borough. As a result, he sometimes needs to go abroad on business and occasionally misses the odd meeting.
But I think the experience of running his own business helps him as council leader in delivering better council services for our borough at a lower cost.
COUNCILLOR HARRY PHIBBS Ravenscourt Park Ward
Conservative Hammersmith Town Hall