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Thursday 23 January 2014

Call to scrap undemocratic Cabinet system in Cheshire East


Willaston and Rope Ward UKIP Councillor Brian Silvester has signed a UKIP petition calling on the undemocratic Cabinet system in Cheshire East (CE) to be scrapped. The petition states,

'In the year 2000,Tony Blair’s government introduced a new Local Government Act. This Act had the effect of focusing far too much power in the hands of a Council Leader and a few of his hand picked colleagues. The practice, know as the Cabinet System, denies the vast majority of elected Councillors on Borough and County Councils to be involved in what are often crucial decisions. The Cabinet System, which is often lucrative for members of the Cabinet, should be disbanded, and British Councils should revert to the democratic system that was in place prior to the year 2000. This would enable all Councillors to participate in the best interest of their constituents.'

Brian said," The present 10 members of the CE Cabinet makes nearly all the decisions that matter and the remaining 72 Councillors are left with very little decision making powers.

The Cabinet almost always rubber stamps what the Leader wants because their place in the Cabinet is dependent upon the Leader and if they cross him they are removed from the Cabinet. The Leader of the Council is virtually a dictator in a system that is supposed to be democratic.The Cabinet system puts far too much power in the hands of one person.

I  have experienced both the committee system and the Cabinet system in my local government career and there is no doubt that the committee system is far more democratic. All Councillors are involved and have a vote. Provided that Committees have powers to make decisions without further reference to the Full Council there is no reason why the committee system can't be as efficient as the Cabinet in decision making."

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