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Farcical proceedings were akin to playground
5:00pm Tuesday 5th June 2012 in Letters
I ATTENDED the Cheshire East full council meeting in the splendid Tenants Hall at Tatton Park.
Following the election of the new mayor, and the luncheon for the councillors and their guests, the monthly meeting of the council took place.
The new leader pledged more co-operation between parties, and a change in style of governance, yet when various motions were proposed, it was interesting to see this new democracy at work, as little seemed to have changed.
Anything suggested by the combined minority independent, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors, was out-voted en bloc by the majority Conservative councillors!
The proceedings looked farcical, more appropriate to the children’s playground, but if this is the pattern of things to come then anything which does not accord with the thinking of the ruling Conservative party will get nowhere, as they seem to vote collectively like sheep at whatever is proposed by their side.
Obviously the present system favours the majority party and they are unlikely to want to change the goalposts.
But should party politics play such a decisive role at local government level?
Possibly the only way to bring true democracy to local government is to elect more independent councillors who would tackle the serious issues facing the council without having to toe any party line.
Also interesting is that we, the taxpayers who pay their salaries, are now seemingly regarded by councillors as customers, and by their gracious agreement are allowed to speak in total for 15 minutes before the proceedings start, regardless of how many wish to speak, and how varied the topics needing airing.
This rule is strictly adhered to seemingly in order that the councillors subsequently have time to banter back and forth between themselves, but surely the public should have more rights at these meetings, and not be interrupted halfway through to be told that their very limited time for speaking has expired?
Let’s hope Michael Jones meant what he said and we shall indeed see some changes for the better in local government.
MABEL TAYLOR Malvern Road, Knutsford