Thursday, 20 February 2014

Effective Local Governance in the Ward

I am a great believer in effective municipal government.

Many of the shortcomings and defects of Portsoken ward governance have come about because of general complacency by our elected officers,who have, I believe, not fully used the instruments of governance available to them on behalf of the inhabitants of the ward.

Here are some questions:

1. When was the last time a Common Councilman in Portsoken called a General Ward Meeting, (apart from the annual wardmote, which is called by the Lord Mayor) to discuss what he or she is doing with the inhabitants, or to openly discuss policy decisions about to be voted on in Guildhall that might impact the residents of the Ward? I am not referring to a surgery, but a ward meeting, where the inhabitants can vote on resolutions, which can then be referred to the relevant committees and officers at Guildhall to which they may relate?

2. When was the last time Common Councilmen in our ward informed the residents in writing about their activities on their behalf at Guildhall, or within the ward? I do not count the Ward Newsletter, which is too general to be of much use as an instrument of local governance, in its present format.

3. When was the last time a committee of inhabitant residents met together with their Common Councilmen, in a publicly announced meeting, to scrutinise Common Council agendas to look for business that might impact the ward's inhabitants?

4. When is the last time the Ward List was properly scrutinised, to ensure the maximum number of residents are enfranchised,  by the Common Councilmen and inhabitants of the Ward? Officers at Guildhall do not have the minute local knowledge to do this. It is a local municipal responsibility, and it has, to the best of my knowledge,  not been carried out.

I think there is a distinct lack of communication in our ward, and a lack of willingness by the sitting Common Councilmen to use the available ward-level mechanisms of local governance.

Should the inhabitants chose to elect me, I will work tirelessly to reinvigorate democracy at a local level within Portsoken.


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