‘Wake-up’ call for Conservatives
Conservative Councillor Sam Adeniji’s 10 point plan in response to Norman Baker MP comments that Seaford Council is “Dysfunctional and out of control” should be a wake up call for the Conservative Party nationally and locally. Seaford Town Council’s draconian standing orders were designed to put unnecessary control over councillors and public freedom of expression for example being unable to answer letters in the press as a councillor without prior vetting is but one example.
Conservative Councillor Sam Adeniji’s point 4 - that standing orders should be rewritten - should be implemented as a matter of urgency.
As to his point 9 “Abolish the secretive group meeting usually held on the Monday before council meetings whereby Conservative councillors are instructed on how to vote”.
Given the tone and nature of the town council’s existing Standing Orders, the word “instructed” in point 9 should gives us all cause for concern. If the Conservative Group and local party wish to gain any respect from the voters, I believe they should now publicly publish their own group standing orders or rules as they are sometimes called, because this may go somewhere to explain the situation we are in.
Perhaps all groups at all levels should have to publish these by law and put them on council websites, so that we can see how they affect democracy. For example I have always felt that allowing voters to ask questions or make statement at council meetings is rather pointless where the controlling group have already made up their minds. It is usually accepted that it would be unlawful in dealing with planning matters to have made up you mind before hearing representation. Having been a Conservative councillor myself for 25 years, I do recognise that Group meetings exist and have a purpose particularly at a higher level, but there is clearly something wrong with their rules and practices in Seaford given the current and previous situations.
John A Bailey