No one on Lewes District Council Cabinet represents the town

Following my previous letter about the dysfunctional and undemocratic nature of Lewes District Council and its effect on matters of concern to Lewes,

I took a further look at the members of its Cabinet and their roles.

Despite the relatively balanced nature of political representation on the council all of the cabinet members are Conservatives and none of them represents Lewes town.

This reflects the ‘winner takes all’ mentality of the first-past-the-post system and the fact that the cabinet system almost automatically gives all the power to one party.

Furthermore, only one of the seven Cabinet members is a woman, which is offensive to me and, no doubt, to 50 percent of the residents of the LDC area.

Still at least we understand what it means to have all Tories, one woman and no reps from Lewes.

However, the disconnect between the areas of responsibility of the District Council and the obscure job descriptions of the various Cabinet members is positively jarring.

Most voters would find it impossible to identify with, for instance, a Corporate Services portfolio and would struggle to understand how that might relate to the need for more social housing or to a need to increase the rate of recycling.

What the council does would make a lot more sense to voters if instead there were, for instance, a chair of a housing committee. One suspects that all this obscure jargon relating more to the business world than local government is also a reason why LDC thinks it can make all kinds of deals with property developers that end up removing vital local services rather than working in the best interests of the local community.

So just to reiterate, Green Party councillors would aim to make the work of LDC clearer to and more accountable to local residents by bringing back meaningful responsibilities in a committee-based system.

We would also encourage LDC to work with local community led groups, rather than developers driven by the profit motive, to bring about jobs, infrastructure and housing. LDC has a duty to promote business and yet the North Street planning application jointly submitted by LDC and Santon would sweep away many small businesses and creative activities and destroy hundreds of jobs.

If you share our vision then vote Green on May 7. Together we can make a difference.

Susan Murray,

Green candidate for LDC,

Castle ward, Lewes