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What's the point of having elected representatives?

Our correspondent writes ...

I learned something quite alarming today. All decisions in Bexley are now taken by the Council Leader and eight councillors who sit on the Cabinet. Effectively, the Bexley Nine run the council without reference to anyone else.

Well, that explains quite a few things. Decisions reached rarely take any account of residents' opinions and it appears they don't take too much account of the non-cabinet members of the council. The other 54 councillors are allowed to voice their opinions after the decisions have been taken but the outcomes are rarely changed.

The Leader of the Council, Chris Ball, was recently asked why he didn't listen to the people who live in the Borough and his answer was something like, "We do listen. Residents confuse listening with agreeing." In other words, "B***ocks to the residents!"

So it was not exactly a surprise to find that the nine Cabinet Members who wield this extraordinary amount of uncontrolled power all belong to the Labour Group. No wonder things are so bad. Further investigation showed that every single regulatory committee is chaired by a Labour councillor, presumably like the planning committee with a dominant labour membership.

But I found one reassuring statement on the Bexley Borough website. Because the Leader and the Cabinet have such far-reaching powers, there are mechanisms in place to check what they do through one of the six Scrutiny Committees. Fine. Except that every Scrutiny Committee is chaired by ... yes, you guessed it ... a Labour councillor!

In my book, that's about as close as it gets to a Labour dictatorship and explains a lot about why charges have spiralled whilst services have reduced, except for what some might see as totally unnecessary schemes to help the under-privileged members of the community in wards largely represented by the Cabinet Members.

Fortunately, we must hope that all bad things come to an end. If you live in Bexley and if you're brassed off with council tax rises that you cannot afford, and elected representatives who take no notice of your opinions, then Councillor Chris Ball and his cronies must be ousted at the next election.

We recently got rid of the Labour MP, now let's get rid of the Labour Council.

Latest News: We did get rid of the Labour-controlled council but are the conservatives any better? Click here to find out.

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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