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Let Councillors Have Opinions

Comment 7th September 2010

If an elected councillor states that they think a proposed local development is bad for the area, the council solicitor jumps in and stops them voting on it.

If someone is elected on a particular platform – keep the local school open, support a bypass, support/oppose building flats, oppose airport expansion – and gets elected they are banned from voting on it!

Luncay!

But the law says councillors must approach each vote with an open mind, so a councillor with a (seemingly) pre-determined position is disqualified or the vote can be challenged.

Politics is based on policy, but anyone with a policy cannot vote!

Change the law so that:

Councillors for a specific affected area CAN have a pre-stated opinion.

Councillors outside the area should not, but are allowed to make biassed comments PROVIDED they are prepared to listen to arguments on both sides and allow the possibility that they may be persauded the other way.

Why does this matter?

If politicans cannot have policies democracy will fail.

There are already too many reasons why good candidates do not stand for election.

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