The antics at the recent Annual Council meeting,where the LibDem/Labour alliance (not called a coalition it seems) took all the cabinet seats and even enlarged the cabinet so that more of their members could be put on the payroll, was unedifying in the extreme.
The usual practice is for the ruling group to occupy the cabinet and leadership roles and this is fair play, democracy even.
However, for this group then to take all the committee chairs ( and the extra allowance that goes with these posts) is against convention and seems wrong on many levels.
The role of committee chairs (and I confess I’d hoped to be one) is to scrutinise and oversee the executive (the cabinet) and it is difficult to see how this can be achieved if they are all of the same group, a situation the constitution is designed to prevent.
The LibDem/Lab alliance claim that this is within the rules, the same excuse MPs used when claiming expenses for duck ponds, and just about as convincing.
The next excuse is that this sort of arrangement, against the spirit of the constitution, is alright because it has been done before. This is like claiming the invasion of Afghanistan is O.K because Iraq went so well.
On another level this unholy alliance opens up the administration to accusations that they are only in it for the money, reinforcing a commonly held view, and in anticipation of further slaughter of the LibDems in next years election they are filling their boots while they can.
Even on a practical level any organisation which can afford to ignore the talents (and there are some) of 25 out of 51 councillors and thus not make the best use of all available resources cannot be in the best interests of the people of Calderdale who we were ALL elected to serve.
Those calling for a reduction in the numbers of councillors will find much justification in the fact that 26 councillors think they can run the whole shebang and still provide the best possible service to our electorate,especially at this most challenging time for our constituents and employees.
Indeed in the whole chimps tea-party of a debate only the indomitable Cllr Mrs Geraldine Carter mentioned the well being of the people of Calderdale, rather than trying to score cheap political party points.
So, when the tea-party was over the slightly bigger chimps ran off with the bananas and the slightly smaller chimps were left balefully scratching their backsides.
Has nobody heard of working together?
Leader- Independent Group