Friday, 18 May 2012

Lib Dems - sitting on the fence (Part 2)

Following my re election as Leader the first concern was to create some stability for the coming 2 years.(There are no council elections next year). Having considered the position with the Chief Executive and done research as to how the situation has been approached in other areas I decided to consider proposing to all opposition groups that we enter into a Memorandum of Understanding.This would outline some underlying principles and then offer a division of important council chairs in exchange for a pledge from the opposition not to attempt to overturn the administration by a vote of confidence. It did not seek to prevent them opposing or scrutinising individual policies and indeed offered regular meetings between cabinet holders and shadow cabinet holders to discuss policy initiatives before consideration by cabinet to ensure that opposition voices were heard.It also enshrined the right of any opposition member to propose any cost neutral amendment to our budget and to have it dealt with by a vote in full council (where my party does not have a majority) but on the basis that having had any valid amendments resolved they would not vote against the final substantive budget.This recognised the fact that last year many opposition councillors voted against the budget notwithstanding having proposed no alternatives.To fix a balanced budget is a legal obligation on the council and I need to ensure that I can do so.Hardly unreasonable!! The Lib Dems simply rejected it out of hand - as did the Labour Group. There were no proposed amendments simply refusal to enter into it. I still have no idea why but in my view it represents a scandalous failure on their part to step up to their responsibilities to the town and the residents who supported them.They chose not to take leadership of the council with the other opposition groups so must work positively to ensure that the council can operate in a stable way as it faces further massive financial challenges.Oh well I suppose it is so much easier to sit on the fence and then just whinge but the residents who voted them in might like to consider if they could be better represented.

1 comment:

  1. This sort of opposition will not add up to much.
    It is possible that that members of the opposition groups will come round to some more sensible arrangement once the exhilaration of electoral success has worn off. But the main thing, as the sports players say, is to focus on one's own game and succeed oneself.