Tuesday, 24 March 2015

WOKINGHAM'S CONSERVATIVES DON'T DO LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Once again Wokingham’s Conservatives showed they don’t do local democracy by using their votes to stop last Thursday’s Council meeting at 10.30pm, preventing any discussion at all of items raised by the Lib Dems.

Cllr Lindsay Ferris (Twyford ward) said “I am appalled that the Conservatives think so little of local democracy and engagement with our residents that they continue to block opportunities for any debate or opposition in Wokingham. Over the last five months we have given them many chances to show that they are prepared to listen and seriously debate local issues but each time they have voted against this. At both the November and March council meetings the Conservatives were happy to debate Conservative motions but then stopped the meetings to prevent Lib Dem motions being heard.

Wokingham’s residents deserve a council that works harder, engages in better democracy and is more open and accountable; sadly the Conservatives just refuse to listen.”

How the Conservatives are preventing democratic debate:

1/ At the Wokingham Borough Council Meeting 19th March 2015, Cllr Prue Bray called for the meeting to be extended until 11pm as the constitution allows, as all items on the Agenda would not be able to be discussed by the time limit of 10.30pm. The conservative majority voted against extending the meeting by 30 minutes to 11pm.

2/At the Wokingham Borough Council Meeting 19th February 2015, Cllr Prue Bray called for an amendment to the Schedule of Meetings, requesting an additional January 2016 Council Meeting be inserted into the schedule. The Conservative majority voted against this.

3/ On Friday 16th January an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council was held, it had been called by Liberal Democrat members of the Council, who recommended that Council agrees:

i) to add an additional Council meeting to the Timetable of Meetings 2014/15 and that this meeting be held on a date to be agreed in January 2015;

ii) that future Timetable of Meetings will include a Council meeting in January in addition to those currently scheduled for May, July, September, November, February and March.

The Conservative members voted against this recommendation.

4/ At the Wokingham Borough Council Meeting 20th November, Cllr Prue Bray called for the meeting to be extended until 11pm as the constitution allows, as all items on the Agenda would not be able to be discussed by the time limit of 10.30pm. The Conservative majority voted against this.