Labour councillors at the Councils AGM voted to duck close examination of their policies by excluding Liberal Democrat councillors from six key council committees.
In a cynical move the Labour Party voted to reduce the size of each scrutiny sub-committee to just five members, each consisting of three Labour councillors and two Conservative councillors but no Liberal Democrats.
“Labour is running scared of proper scrutiny,” said Liberal Democrat Group Leader Bob Sullivan, who also used the meeting to raise questions about primary school places, the EMD cinema and the Arcade site.
“It is a bad sign that the first act of the Labour administration is to close down debate and discussion. They don’t seem to realise that residents expect councillors to work together on the many difficult challenges facing our area. Despite the problems caused by Labour’s actions the Lib Dem group will continue to speak up for local residents and fight for their interests.”
Until last night’s Annual Council Meeting seven councillors served on each scrutiny sub-committee. This would have given the Liberal Democrats one seat on each committee. A Liberal Democrat attempt to halt the change was defeated by the Labour majority.
The six scrutiny sub-committees deal with:
- Children and Young People
- Health, Adults and Older People
- Performance Improvement
- Community Safety and Housing