Wednesday, 18 November 2009

BRAVE? NO, CONCERNED: YES.

Today, on “Thoughts of Oscar”, Oscar highlights three Councillors as being brave, Jason Weyman, Bob Squires and me, an accolade in itself coming from Oscar. The real truth, however, is that there are a lot of good and, indeed, brave Councillors it is only a minority who are not, it is this minority who, for whatever reason, bring down the others. There are those on the Council who influence other Councillors for different reasons be it political, private or an unknown agenda.
The vast difference between a Town or Community Council and those on the County Council is, of course, the pay; Town and Community Councillors are unpaid and most of them do what they do because they actually care about the people and area in which they live. County Councillors, on the other hand, are well paid for what they do, or, in some cases, do not do.
We are very often critical of our Council and I admit to being one of the worst offenders when it comes to that and I shall continue to be so as long as the County Council remains as secretive and deceitful as it is being.
I believe it is part of the duties of a Town or Community Councillor to challenge the actions and decisions of the County Council if they are detrimental to the people and communities. This is extremely difficult to do when you have County Councillors sitting on these lower Councils, they can influence the debate or outcome of a vote. This dual representation is very dangerous as it stifles the democratic process; the County Councillors may well have voted in favour of the very proposal we are arguing about, for example the pier, offices or regeneration projects. At County level they have already made their decisions so by influencing members of the lower councils their proposals are pushed through unquestioned. To me this is totally wrong and I think dual representation should be ended, this would allow the lower councils to argue with the County unimpeded.
Without the input of the County Councillors I’m sure that more arguments would be raised from the lower councils and that more Councillors would be vocal; it is not a question therefore of being brave it is more a point of being heard, so many Councillors do good things quietly yet other Councillors use the same stealth to hide their secret agenda.

3 comments:

Chameleon said...

It seems fair to say that there is an obvious conflict of interest if someone is both a Town and County Councillor. The rule should be that you can be one or the other, but not both.

Anonymous said...

Yes I fully agree with Chameleon.
Imogen Wong.

Councillor John Oddy said...

Chameleon,
You are right, the Conflict of Interest is, sometimes, glaringly obvious but if it is in the interests of the County Council nobody seems to care. Fortunately some Town Councillors are beginning to see this and want something done about it.