Councillors Being 'Gagged' Say Local Conservatives

Say Labour-controlled Council is being anti-democratic


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Conservative councillors have accused the Labour-controlled Hounslow council of "gagging" them, claiming they are trying to oust them from important Council committees. The Council has denied the allegations which came after a stormy Council meeting last week.

“Labour is gagging Councillors, the representatives of the people,” accused Councillor Liz Mammatt (Bedfont and Deputy Conservative Group Leader).

"Labour is seeking to oust all Councillors from the Tenants’, Leaseholders’ and Sheltered Tenants’ Joint Consultative Committee, the apparent reason being to depoliticise the Committee. However, the Labour Cabinet Member for Housing would retain his membership as the sole Councillor, so this removal of the others is actually enforced anti-democratic politicisation with the danger of bulldozing through unwelcome measures.

Cllr Steve Curran, Cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “This decision is not a gagging order but a move to enable the Board at Hounslow Homes to operate effectively, efficiently and independently and with the best interests of tenants and leaseholders at heart.

“Councillors will still be involved as the scrutinisers of the operations of Hounslow Homes. We will still have the opportunity to have a say in what matters most to residents. We feel that this is the best and most effective way forward.”

Cllr Mammatt said: "Councillors have a duty and honour to speak up for and look after residents. They are used to airing their different experiences and views, thereby making a valuable contribution to this and other Committees.

"Hounslow’s Labour ruling group is becoming an increasingly anti-democratic regime. It is the Conservatives who are the intrepid champions of the people.”

March 28, 2014

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