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UKIP Lincolnshire County Councillor in motion to change authority's decision making process

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

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UKIP councillor Robin Hunter-Clarke, who branded the recent library service cuts as ‘undemocratic’, is to propose a motion to rewrite how decisions are made by Lincolnshire County Council.

He claims the current “cabinet style system” meant some councillors had little influence over the final decision to hand over the majority of Lincolnshire’s libraries to volunteers, when it was given the official go-ahead by nine executive members.

“The library decision has brought this issue to the foreground,” Cllr Hunter-Clarke said.

“The dreadful decision made by the executive means that things cannot continue. We must have democracy in County Hall.”

Currently, Lincolnshire County Council uses a cabinet and leader style system, with nine councillors forming an executive committee which gives the final say on decisions.

The remaining councillors form committees which scrutinise decisions made by the nine executive councillors.

However Mr Hunter-Clarke believes reverting back to a system last used in 1997 means all councillors can help make final decisions.

“The system is called the committee form of governance, and if a resolution is passed it will bring back democracy,” he added.

“Local councillors will be able to represent their constituents more effectively.

“The system must change otherwise things can never get better for our county and the people we represent.”

He is set to propose the motion in front of a meeting of the executive on Friday, December 13.

However it must be seconded, debated and then agreed through a vote before it is taken any further.

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12 comments

  • InsideStory  |  December 14 2013, 6:03AM

    MarcJones I have noticed you have not commented on any of my posts do i take it you agree with what i have posted ?

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  • Pete67  |  December 13 2013, 1:22PM

    MarcJones - - - So obviously a councillor is doing a good job if people don't complain, and a bad job when people do complain. They still go on to do the opposite of what don't people want most of the time though. I obviously wouldn't know how good a job you do though not being a resident of Lincoln itself.

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  • MarcJones  |  December 13 2013, 10:59AM

    Re Peter67 I can't speak for any other Councillir only for myself. I am a resident of Lincoln and care about Lincoln which is why I stood for council in the first place. I care what residents want and need but find all to often that the only time people engage with you is to say what they don't want. It would help inform Councillors if we also heard what people do want as well. Never forget that Councillors are just local people trying to ensure that the area they live in is represented. If you feel that you would like to stand yourself as I did then I would happily point you in the right direction for the information on how to do so.

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  • MarcJones  |  December 13 2013, 10:47AM

    Re Peter67 I can't speak for any other Councillir only for myself. I am a resident of Lincoln and care about Lincoln which is why I stood for council in the first place. I care what residents want and need but find all to often that the only time people engage with you is to say what they don't want. It would help inform Councillors if we also heard what people do want as well. Never forget that Councillors are just local people trying to ensure that the area they live in is represented. If you feel that you would like to stand yourself as I did then I would happily point you in the right direction for the information on how to do so.

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  • Whiley45  |  December 13 2013, 9:09AM

    Another example of common sense from UKIP. Their slogan should be "LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD"

    Rate   12
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  • Pete67  |  December 13 2013, 7:56AM

    MarcJones - - - Maybe you can tell us then why the elected councillors don't give a damn about what the voters think and feel?

    Rate   6
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  • InsideStory  |  December 13 2013, 6:13AM

    MarcJones I think you will find that the electorate do know what goes on behind closed doors in council chambers and that is what worry many people regarding what gets passed or rejected by groups of councillors who cooperate with each other so that their own proposals that they may make are also passed or rejected . Lets hope one day very soon all council meetings including decision making meetings will be available to be watched by the electorate so they can judge how decisions are made and by whom ,there is also a problem with that idea too by that i mean a lot of councillors belong to secret society's and the decisions could have already been made in masonic lodges before the meeting . I dont really think there is truly a honest form of politics due to too many thinking of their own self interests .

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  • MarcJones  |  December 12 2013, 9:06PM

    I'm speaking as a County Councillor but for myself. This motion is totally misguided and in itself shows why going back to the "old system" of committees would be ridiculous and catastrophic for Lincolnshire. Firstly the "disaster" that he speaks of when talking about libraries will lead more than likely to more libraries being open than before, and for longer whist saving the taxpayer money. Hardly a crisis. The old system of committee decisions lead to solutions that no one wanted but the majority could agree on not bold decisions that were right for the county. This motion is about people who didn't win enough votes to be in the controlling group shouting "it's not fair". Well it is fair, it's democratic and it's the right way to run a 1.2 billion pound council. Can you imagine trying to get the agreement of the various UKIP splinter group members, the independents, the Lib Dems, the Lincolnshire Independents and the Conservatives every time a decision need making? The county would grind to a holt in months and the budget would be in chaos! You will notice how good the opposition groups are at finding reasons why things shouldn't be cut but aren't so forthcoming when it comes to finding savings. This job is hard and not a toy. Some members need to understand the basics before they suggest how the world can be saved, even if they mean well.

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  • InsideStory  |  December 12 2013, 7:01PM

    So many Councillors have served together for many many years in which case they will not and do not vote against each others proposals ,it is almost like a gentlemen's club or secret society between each other so in my view he is right in saying the system needs to change before it can be called democratic .

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  • Verity_Candor  |  December 12 2013, 5:41PM

    For the first time I agree with what someone from UKIP has to say insofar as that the system at LCC is undemocratic and is in need of reform. It would be naïve in the extreme though to not suppose that there is naked self-interest at play here. Robin Hunter-Clarke and UKIP claim that they want to keep national politics out of local issues which rather disingenuously is asking people to support their odious policies at a national level as what happens locally is a reflection of what happens across the country. UKIP's policies are either unworkable, expensive or divisive and usually all three combined. UKIP claim to be champions of democracy and liberty. That includes allowing far right parties in Europe to continue to be funded from EU money. It includes allowing candidates and Councillors to represent them and spout reprehensible views until such time they are forced to withdraw their support. A vote for UKIP is a blow to democracy not a defence of it.

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