Tory split could be good for town hall democracy

Chris Carter THE SHENANIGANS at Redbridge Town Hall on Thursday will have provoked varying reactions from residents. Some of those close to the political scene will raise their eyes to heaven, other disinterested parties probably won t bat an eyelid. But the growing f

Chris Carter

THE SHENANIGANS at Redbridge Town Hall on Thursday will have provoked varying reactions from residents.

Some of those close to the political scene will raise their eyes to heaven, other disinterested parties probably won't bat an eyelid.

But the growing fissures in the Conservative party, which last week became a canyon, could in some way force a more democratic council on the sitting councillors.


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The reorganisation of local government in 2000 brought in the area committee structure, which many welcomed. But the cabinet system, which came in at the same time, has been widely criticised.

It saw the leading party making the majority of decisions with little scrutiny.

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The critics argue that does not reflect the make-up of the council.

With 28 of the 63 seats on Redbridge Council held by opposition councillors you might expect the cabinet would mirror that - not so.

Thursday could change all that as Tory chiefs hold talks with their opposition counterparts to forge an administration.

Labour and Liberal Democrats might justifiably demand representation on the cabinet and that could see more finely judged decisions (allotment sell-offs and mayoral cars come to mind).

The bad news for my staff, though, is it will probably mean longer council meetings!

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