Cllr Geoff Brodie (formerly Lumley) shares this latest news. Ed
Long-time Labour Councillor Geoff Brodie has reacted with sadness to the new Tory Council’s proposals to reduce democratic accountability at County Hall.
A paper for the Annual Council next week will:
- Restore the much-maligned delegated-decision making by Tory Cabinet members behind closed doors – abolished by the 2013-16 administration
- Concentrate the power of ‘call in’ of those decisions in the hands of just one opposition councillor – the Chair of Scrutiny
- Dissipate the functions of scrutiny across three new ‘Policy & Scrutiny Committees’ that will be dominated by Tory members
- Fails to adequately explain how non-Cabinet members will be able to collectively challenge proposed delegated decisions in advance
- Remove the requirement for Cabinet members to make reports to Full Council and answer questions regarding their responsibility, removing any meaningful accountability to Full Council or the general public
- Remove the requirement for named votes on all significant decisions at Full Council or Cabinet, again removing accountability to the voters
- Remove the right of Council employees facing dismissal to appeal to a councillor panel
Cllr Brodie who secured many of the democratic reforms now to be swept away said,
“We had a hint of the Tory’s intolerance of democracy at County hall before the local elections when they combined with Ukip and other ex-councillors to block any discussion of a return to a full Committee system of governance. A system that is far more inclusive than the Cabinet system.
“The new Leader told me recently he was seeking less confrontation at County Hall in this administration. Frankly this attack on transparency and accountability is not the best way to achieve that aim.”