The cost of one-party councils

20 Oct

Councillor John Gray has blogged about his response to the Electoral Reform Society’s report “The Cost of One-Party Councils: Lack of Electoral Accountability and public procurement corruption”. While he takes issue with one or two of the claims made by the ERS, he is a clear supporter of electoral reform for local authorities.

Most interesting is the final paragraph. This, I think, reflects his experiences over the past five years as a backbench member of the most one-party council of them all:

Finally, I think just as important as electoral reform, local government needs structural and legislative reform. Such as making the role of scrutiny committees much more robust and truly independent of the Executive; beefing up Standard Boards; time limits on Council leaders; stopping backbench Councillors being refused information by Chief officers for no substantiated reasons; being open and transparent and stop restricting information to the public or press unless absolutely necessary; making officers’ hospitality register a public document; better guidance from national political organisations on the role of elected members as being champions of their constituents and holding the Executive to account. Finally, we should reintroduce powers to surcharge individual Councillors who act without due care or legal authority with public money. 

Good stuff.

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2 Responses to “The cost of one-party councils”

  1. d October 23, 2015 at 11:59 #

    Newham Labour party and its spinning moral compass.

  2. Kevin Mansell October 26, 2015 at 12:25 #

    The single transferable vote referendum in 2013 was a terrible tactical error. It would have been better to concentrate on full PR for local government elections and the House of Lords, even if the House of Commons was blocked from PR for obvious reasons.

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