I had wondered if I was the only person who thought that party politics should not emanate down as far as District level in our local government system. Well, having been out talking to people as part of the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre Joint User Group efforts to involve the public in the Consultation Vote recently, I now know that a great many other people feel the same way.
Many district councillors vote on issues as directed by their leaders or local party, irrespective of the view of their electorate.
I know that individuals and some parish councils have expressed views to district councillors over certain issues e.g. BBHLC, but when it comes to a vote the councillors (often parish councillors themselves) do not vote reflecting or representing these views.
They are guided in their voting by a ‘three line whip’ type situation similar to that used in Westminster.
Is this fair? Is this democracy at work? Will our elected district councillors start to listen and talk to the people they represent in future?
Will they be strong enough to follow their consciences or will they do as they are told by those holding the reins in their local party?
Am I naive in hoping that they will get back in touch with those they represent and, if the views clash, put aside their own political ambitions?
Call me an optimist if you wish, but I hope that, after all of the fiascos of the last few months, enough councillors will at last ‘do the right thing’.
I would encourage people, therefore, to contact their local councillor over any matter they feel strongly about.
I know that many people already do this, but to those who don’t I would say that we cannot accuse HDC of ignoring our views if we do not bother to voice them.
People talking to their councillors and councillors listening and representing the views of the electorate ........ Democracy at work – what a novel idea!
Cox Green, Rudgwick