Can we do democracy better at County Hall?

I made two interventions at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday. Both asking the County Council’s leadership to involve other people in making decisions.

Two years ago after the last council elections, the ruling group blocked the Green Party from having a seat on the Infrastructure and Development committee which was obviously going to be a priority for them with its role in scrutinising road building and transport policy. After the Greens won a by-election in West Depwade last week they finally gained that place on the committee. I asked the council leader to review how committee allocations are made so we can make better use of all the skills available from councillors. Sadly, she refused.

I also spoke in support of a motion from Labour councillor Terry Jermy which asked for local people to have more say on highways spending. As Terry said in his speech, 80% of our ‘postbag’ as a councillor relates to highways issues. I also said we should involve people in putting together the programme of ‘capital infrastructure’ schemes for the County. Once again the ruling group refused to accept the proposal but I said in my speech that I hoped they would take it away and think about it for the future.

There’s a recording of the meeting on YouTube. The link below takes you to my question, and if you scroll forward to 3:01:52 you can watch the debate on Terry Jermy’s proposal.