PUBLIC SHOULD BE ABLE TO SPEAK AT MEETINGS OF WOLVERHAMPTON COUNCIL

The survey of over 100 senior officers and councillors, conducted by auditors Grant Thornton, also said that a fifth of councils were considering returning to the "Committee System" of decision making which was abolished by the then Labour government fifteen years ago.

City Conservative leader Councillor Wendy Thompson said, "Wolverhampton has tweaked its own local system at least four times since 2000 and, each time, the results have proven to be unsatisfactory. It is still virtually impossible to hold the executive to proper account because they are shielded by the rules on calling in decisions and shielded by their own party on the scrutiny panels. We need the public to see this in action and the fairest way would be for them have a chance to participate, in much the same way as Planning Committees currently operate, with the public being able to speak."

Councillor Thompson added that she had never heard any Wolverhampton Councillor from outside the controlling Labour group being thanked for calling in a decision made by a Labour Cabinet, or for trying to get it changed for the public good. "In fact, quite the opposite has more often been the case, with members being publicly pilloried for daring to question even the smallest aspect of a Labour Cabinet decision."

 

 Councillor Thompson has raised the matter with senior management at the Council and is preparing for further talks. "The accountability of the ten people who make decisions in this Council towards the people of the city, and the openness in which they do it, are of paramount importance."