It would seem that John Gilbey’s Saturday didn’t improve. Having slain his traffic-related opponents with his mightier-than-any-sword quill pen, he then swivelled his attention to focus on those who simply would not follow orders – in this case regarding the supposedly independent commission he was thinking of setting up to waylay the referendum on governance. (Translation: moving away from elected dictatorship, towards something more like democracy.)
This press release is altogether punchier, even though it has fewer exclamation marks. It may read like a snarky comment on some social network site, but this is actually an official statement from the Leader of our Council.
A few weeks ago, we said that we wished to set up an Independent Commission to inform the public openly and completely about the various options with regard to the governance system of the council. This totally transparent exercise, completed by a wholly independent commission would have enabled everyone with an interest in this admittedly remote subject to inform their vote in a referendum next year. Three of the four parties had agreed in principle to support a Commission.
With appropriate weasel wording, the Lib Dems believe that the public should not be informed until much later, after a petition reaches the required level – which they assure us will be reached. This purely political manoeuvring means that the public will not be provided with information at an appropriate time.
Council decisions will always be made by the party with the majority of seats, whatever the governance system. Decisions with the executive system are better-made, without politics and at appropriate speed and I therefore believe that we should be very wary of a return to the politically-charged committee system. There would also be cost and officer-time considerations to assess under the various systems and I regret that these members have decided to reject the opportunity to inform the electorate. Unfortunately it means that we cannot proceed without the full support of members for an Independent panel. I am not going to support adding costs to the council without cross party agreement.
Finally, I would welcome any of the other Parties coming forward with a Policy rather than purely relying on opposition to anything the current majority group does. This suggests simple laziness or lack of interest? It has been going on since 2005 and perhaps even before that.
“Decisions with the executive system are better-made, without politics…”
I laughed till I stopped.
Cllr Gilbey’s wariness of a committee-based system makes me wary of the “independence” of his now-never-to-be Commission.