Tories axe council committees

By David LennardTHE Conservatives wasted no time in making changes after taking control of Waveney District Council last night.New leader of the council Peter Austin's first move was to propose the scrapping of three committees and replace them with one.

By David Lennard

THE Conservatives wasted no time in making changes after taking control of Waveney District Council last night.

New leader of the council Peter Austin's first move was to propose the scrapping of three committees and replace them with one.

Under the Labour administration there were three policy and review committees covering regeneration and environment, community and operations and corporate policy.


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Each committee had nine members, but under Mr Austin's proposal these committees will be replaced with a single committee consisting of 13 councillors.

”It is a sensible and logical move that will save officer time, improve efficiency and save money for the council taxpayers of Waveney,” said Mr Austin at the annual meeting of Waveney District Council.

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The proposal was widely criticised by Labour councillors as an attack on local democracy.

Labour leader David Jermy described the move as the first step of Conservative proposals to “slash public services”.

He added: “It's sad to say that only a matter of weeks after the district elections when the party now in control told the electorate that they wanted to make the council more accountable, more open, and more accessible, they are now proposing to slash its services to the very same public.”

When the motion was voted on by the full council, the Conservatives won with the support of the Independent councillors.

Last night also saw Conservative councillor Mark Bee elected as deputy leader of the council.

Sandra Keller, a Conservative councillor who represents the Oulton Broad ward, is the new chairman of Waveney District Council, with Independent Ruth Ford as vice-chairman.

There is no single party in overall control on the council as the Conservatives have 21 seats, Labour 19 seats, Liberal Democrats three seats and the Independents five seats.

In accepting his nomination as leader of the council, Mr Austin, who represents the Southwold ward, said the Conservatives were “looking forward” to the challenge of providing top services for the people of Waveney at the best possible value for money.

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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