Putting the People (back) in Power

Conservative opposition councillors restore the rights of Kingston residents to hold LibDem-run Council to account

Conservative councillors have unveiled proposals that will restore the democratic rights of residents to hold Kingston Council to account.

LibDem-run Kingston Council recently stripped away the rights of residents to call-in controversial Council decisions. They moved from requiring a collection of 100 resident signatures to demanding over 2,500 signatures, and all to be collected within 10 days.

Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of the Opposition, said:

“Kingston Lib Dems have a very old fashioned view that Councillors make decisions and the public have to lump it. Too often the Council have been poor at consulting, and have ignored the views and wishes of local residents. Councils should be devolving more power to people, rather than confiscating their right to have a say.”

Cllr Ian George, the Opposition spokesman for Resident Participation, said:

“A key area where residents could hold the council to account was the ability to call-in decisions for scrutiny if 100 local residents signed a petition. Stripping this from residents was a democratic disgrace, that was motivated by a desire to cover-up poor LibDem decision making from public scrutiny. We are today using our powers as the opposition to restore a fair call-in procedure. Residents will once again have the power to scrutinise the LibDem-run Council in an open and transparent way.”

Note:

Whilst residents were stripped of the power to challenge Council decisions Councillors retained those powers providing 9 Councillors called for a review. The Conservative Opposition has agreed to use the powers given the opposition to establish a new residents call-in procedure,  run by the Conservative Opposition. The Council system was not perfect and so changes have been made including the requirement to fill out a standardised form.

The call-in form and background information can be seen by following this link.