Back to Labour’s Bad Old Ways

June 20, 2011 8:20 AM

Just a few days into running Newcastle City Council and Labour is back to its bad old ways, making big changes to the open and transparent way that the Liberal Democrats ran Newcastle City Council.

They're giving extensive extra powers to their leader and his close circle to make decisions on their own, without bringing them to meetings where they can be properly examined, questioned and debated, and where the opposition and public are entitled to be present. They've also cut back the committees which scrutinise the decisions made by the council's "Cabinet". Now many councillors have no place on any scrutiny committee and are disenfranchised.

LIB DEMS SAY - "What are Labour trying to hide? What happened to open government? Councillors are elected to keep an eye on how decisions are made. We need proper accountability, and every councillor should have a part to play, so we know that decisions are properly made and represent good value for money, and that all areas of the city get good services"

Labour have already announced that they will be scrapping the new neighbourhood charters, which reflect the views and wishes of local people
arising from extensive consultation. Instead there will be top down neighbourhood standards imposed for each area - and resources will be
redeployed to areas decided by Labour. Is this what people thought they were voting for?