Labour councillor condemns Conservative attack on democracy

A return to the Cabinet system, removal of named votes and the questions to Cabinet members at full council being scrapped are just some of the changes planned by the Conservative administration say the Labour councillor.

Geoff Lumley

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.”

Wednesday, 10th May, 2017 11:10am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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12 Comments on "Labour councillor condemns Conservative attack on democracy"

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Jonathan Bacon
Geoff is right to highlight this absolutely appalling attempt to snub democracy and stick two fingers up to the public and any non-Conservative Councillors. To end the requirement of Executive members to report to Council and face questions is horrendous and altogether the package of proposals far exceeds the depths we saw explored prior to 2013. I would hope that a significant number of the Conservative Group… Read more »
Geoff Brodie
As ever the backbench Tories will claim not to be political, but will stick their hands up like sheep.There will be a 26 votes in favour (all the Tories plus you know who) to 14 against. Even David Pugh – yes David Pugh, notorious for his deaf ears to most things – supported named votes and Cabinet member reports to Full Council. I had hoped we could… Read more »

And I thought it was only the Mafia who ran protection rackets! Whatever happened to democracy?

Billy Builder

Chissy, you need to be very careful what you say, as Conservative Party Chairman Patrick McLoughlin has threatened to sue anyone who says anything nasty about Tory candidates.


No names mentioned Billy. I could have been referring to anybody or anything so it would just be conjecture! But thanks and I will heed your warning

Billy Builder

wwicked setpmother is watching 👀

Why use the term Cabinet? It is far too grandiose; Executive is much better suited to a Council. A few grammatical points in Paper B above:- para 16 first sentence: should read Agendas not Agenda’s para 18: ” ” committees not committee’s para 41(a)(vi): ” ” committees not committee’s para 42(a): ” ” Appointments not Appointment’s para 52(a): ” ” committees not committee’s There may be others… Read more »
Luisa Hillard

Does anyone else feel as though we’re living through a replay of history? It’s all very disappointing.

Luisa Hillard
I’ve just realised that the Conservatives could really struggle to form a viable administration. They couldn’t manage it without the help of UKIP and the IMG earlier this year. Now, they have a majority but they’ve lost most of their Non-Con Alliance members and I can’t imagine that they will offer Julie Jones-Evans a seat, seeing as how she’s standing for MP as an Independent. I’m assuming… Read more »
The deadline for General Election candidates is 4pm today (Thursday May 11 2017). We have heard no confirmation as to whether Julie Jones-Evans will stand. We also haven’t heard from Iain McKie, who announced that he was considering standing as an independent earlier. And no announcement from UKIP as to who their candidate will be. If the situation stands as it is now: Conservative: Bob Seely Liberal… Read more »
Stewart Blackmore
We already know how the Tories will try to run the council; witness the complete disdain with which they, to a man (and it was men), treated Geoff (and Alan Hollands) over the last few years. I really do fear for the future of our statutory services and have no confidence that this administration will even go through the motions of protecting our most vulnerable citizens. If… Read more »
Geoff Brodie
I think you are being a little naive there, Luisa. The Tories fully expected to win the Council, I predicted it almost to the correct number as your friend Cllr Baker-Smith will confirm, and a good few of their new members will not have been ‘paper’ candidates. They will in fact be looking for Cabinet positions. I also confidently predict that that Cllr Stewart will be ousted… Read more »