Friday, 2 March 2012

No democracy in West Berkshire Council 2012 budget "debate"

We in the Lib-Dem opposition on West Berkshire Council are used to our carefully researched and considered alternative budget proposals being rubbished by the Conservative administration. However, last night's debate on them was a farce. A lot of time was taken up on previous agenda items and Conservative Hilary Cole successfully proposed a motion to curtail debate. This meant that several well-prepared speeches by opposition spokesmen were not heard.

This was in front of many members of the public who would be affected by the cuts that we were trying to reverse. Many of them were very annoyed by the silencing of discussion.

Many thought that the "debate" was a negation of democracy.

After the guillotine came down, a Tory councillor spent five minutes talking about staff that had been made redundant. I felt that several of his remarks were very inappropriate.

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