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Graffiti is clearly becoming a bigger problem. Particularly in Yardley. Yesterday, therefore, it was agreed that I would chair the Constituency Graffiti Working Party. We need to catch the people responsible and ensure that they are prosecuted for the substantial damage that they do. A sensible punishment is spending all the weekends for months clearing up the mess.


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Standards Board and Ken Livingstone

The link is to the case where Ken Livingstone appealed the decision of the Adjudication Panel for England. The Standards Board and associated Adjudication Panel have done a lot of damage to democracy in the UK. The courts are, however, bringing them into more sanity. The point about Ken Livingstone's case is that it was high profile and he also could afford to appeal. The Standard Board has a problem in that those subject to its enquiries face substantial costs that they cannot claim back. This is an issue that needs further work. In essence the Judge found that what he said brought him into disrepute, but not the office of Mayor. We do need the machinery of the SBE and APE to concentrate on things that matter rather than people being rude to each other.