THAT absolute power corrupts absolutely was proven last week by St Neots Liberal Democrats. During the town council meeting they ignored the long-standing constitution and block-voted to take powers away from elected members of the Conservative minority
THAT "absolute power corrupts absolutely" was proven last week by St Neots Liberal Democrats.
During the town council meeting they ignored the long-standing constitution and block-voted to take powers away from elected members of the Conservative minority and vest total power in ex-district councillor Derek Giles.
During the meeting the town clerk referred on a number of occasions to decisions having been determined by the Lib Dem group prior to the council meeting, and on several occasions the Conservative members were denied permission to speak or allowed to speak only after motions had been block-voted on by Lib Dem councillors.
The electorate of St Neots now has no idea who is actually influencing how our money is spent. The mysterious Lib Dem group may include candidates rejected by the electorate in May 2007 or other co-opted activists and interested parties.
There are no published minutes of this group or record of its meetings or indeed any opportunity to publicly oppose its proposals. Not surprisingly, when each item is put before the full council, Lib Dem councillors silently wait to follow their leader.
At district and county councils, democracy is protected through checks and balances built into the constitution referred to as "overview & scrutiny". These ensure openness and fair play.
In St Neots, Lib Dem rule means that important things are dealt with in secret and elected councillors liable to expulsion should they disclose details to press or residents.
Under Lib Dem rules only Councillor Giles has a special right to be consulted by our town clerk, and it is Cllr Giles who will do the town clerk's appraisal and staff review. Only Cllr Giles has a right to be consulted on "urgent" decisions. There are no definitions of what is meant by "urgent" or limits to his power.
This is Lib Dem rule, not liberal, not democratic.
Councillor PAUL URSELL
Town and district councillor