Dukes Ward Councillor Sir Ron Watson CBE has again expressed very great concern at the increasing secrecy levels being adopted by the Labour Party on Sefton Council through the Cabinet system.
Sir Ron said “The last Cabinet Meeting had a critical report on the disposal of Assets but only the Cabinet Members were allowed to see the details which must have included buildings and sites throughout the borough.
The vast majority of Councillors will therefore be quite unable to come to a view on the appropriateness or otherwise of what has been agreed in secret and this makes a mockery of local democracy.
When asking for the matter to be held in secret there was a section headed ‘external consultations’. The answer under this category was ‘not applicable’ and such an attitude speaks for itself.”
Mike Prendergast, who hopes to join Sir Ron as a Dukes Ward Councillor next May said “I have been looking through the record of Labour since January 2019 and there have been 24 attempts by Conservative Members to obtain information and to change the way in which the Council operates to ensure a much greater transparency without jeopardising in any way the right that the majority Labour Party have to pursue policies they think are correct but every attempt has been refused out of hand and in an offhand manner which does not do them nor Sefton any credit.
There has never been a time when the talents of all Members of any Council need to be used in a co-operative and open manner and in this regard Sefton is going backwards when even its own Councillors are having to put in requests under the Freedom of Information Act to find out what their own Council is actually doing in a wide variety of areas.
I will certainly be pressing with my colleagues to have a greater degree of openness in the future.”