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People of West Lancs mildly perturbed as Council Chief announces abolition of local democracy

01.10.09 | Comment?

 This just in from the West Lancashire District Council Chief Executive, in his weekly message from on high to Council staff, councillors and anyone else he feels like telling at the time:

‘Our task as I see it in the months and indeed years ahead is to find ways of continuing to provide quality services, particularly in those areas identified by Councillors as top priority and at the same time reducing our costs in order that we can protect jobs and services. 

I will have more to say about this matter in the weeks ahead and more importantly, the Leader of the Council and Finance Portfolio Holder will be setting out the Council’s spending direction at the Council’s annual budget setting meeting on February 25th.’


 Well that’s us told, then.  

I could have sworn that budget setting meeting on 25th Feb was actually the opportunity for the Conservative Leader and Portfolio holder to set out their proposals for the annual budget, and for Labour to set out any alternative proposals it has, and then for votes to be cast in respect of the alternatives put forward.

But this would appear to be an inconvenience to the Chief Executive and his Conservative masters, so I guess that whole democracy aspect may have been abolished some time when I wasn’t looking.  I really should keep up with the small print

It’s a shame, I have to say, as  I think this year the  force and coherence of the Labour opposition’s alternative proposals, in the context of quite coherent Keynesian public investment ‘narratives’ being developed at national and international level, may well have won the day in a democratic vote.

But the Chief Executive has spoken, so I’m not sure there’s much more to say.

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