Monday, February 24, 2014

Local Democracy?

The following article appeared in Private Eye last week.

"A surreal lesson in how democracy works - or doesn't - from Herefordshire.

County councillors were unanimous earlier this month in reversing a cut imposed by the council's cabinet in the provision of free school buses for hundreds of children across the county.   Even the cabinet members voted against their earlier decision.   Yet days later the council announced: "This... does not change the policy position for home to school transport set by cabinet in December, which will take effect in September 2014."

Officers told gobsmacked councillors the cuts would go ahead without any further reference to them.   They explained that under local government legislation the decision of the cabinet, once made could not be un-done."

Even in parliament members can overturn a decision of the cabinet.   Why can't councils?

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