Proportional Representation On Town Council Committees Rejected

Proportional Representation Of Town Council Committees Rejected

Proportional Representation Of Town Council Committees Rejected

A bold move by the current councillor Rob Begnett to neutralise political interest and govern for the good of the town has been rejected by a majority of members at Beverley Town Council.

Councillor Begnett who was recently elected as the new Mayor proposed that the committees within Beverley Town Council should be made up of a proportional representation of all the political parties and independents.

Addressing his colleagues at the meeting Councillor Begnett said;

‘Given the confusion from last year my proposal is we try to plan among ourselves to have some degree of proportional representation from each of the main parties within the committees.’

While the Mayor’s proposal was seconded by Councillor Nick Machen from the Beverley Party and described by Councillor of as ‘progressive move’ and one which he supported, the idea not backed when put to the vote.

Councillor Dominic Peacock of the Conservative Party expressed his reasons why he felt it was not a good idea saying;

‘It has always worked the past. We were in this situation last year. The town clerk has a procedure for it, and really it should be handed to the town clerk.’

He went on to question why the same ‘principles and ethics’ were not applied to the election of the Mayor indicating that the Conservative group are being kept out of the role saying ‘sauce for the goose sauce for the gander’ indicating it was one rule for one and one rule for another.

While it was pointed out to councillor Peacock that the Mayor was indeed an independent candidate councillor Peacock added the tables are about to be turned.

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Given their greater numbers at the table, the Conservative group made up of Brian Pearson, Dominic Peacock, David Elvidge, Elaine Aird and Geoff Cooper along with the an element of support from the independent councillors Duncan Jack and gave them full control over the outcome of any voting.

While what followed was above board and legitimate it does raise the question whether the elected councillors within Beverley Town Council are at times using their roles to score cheap political points at the expense of the residents interests.

What was in principle a very good idea by the incumbent Mayor, it is very difficult to see how this will be achieved given the clear party politics that come into play.

Beverley town Council next meet again on 27 June 6:30 PM at their offices on Well Lane Beverley.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and are able to view the proceedings however not permitted to speak.

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This article has 4 Comments

  1. Seems a rather childish attitude, tit for tat, in a Town Council meeting? If councillor Peacock was more concerned with expressing his apparent pique that one of his own party was not elected Mayor, than even considering if the proposal might be a good move for the benefit of residents, perhaps the new Mayors suggestion has merit?

  2. A general overall proportional representation by affiliation was one that we had under the last council, including on my watch, without it having to be made policy. That changed last year with the new council when the Tories steamrollered themselves into dominant positions on the committees and I regret to see this has continued again. I applaud Councillor Begnett’s attempt achieve this balance on the committees and note with regret if no surprise however, that the Tory faction has blocked this. It is not the business of the clerk to decide the make up of the committees as Councillor Peacock would know if he took the trouble to read the council’s standing orders.

  3. Hearty congratulations on the proposal Councillor Begnett. I believe proportional representation will show to everyone who can think for themselfes. Unfortunately it looks like the larger parties can’t and are hiding behind each other by default. Come on Councillors of Beverley – lets have proper, open intellectual discussion with reasonings and a consensus on what really affects the people of Beverley rather than hiding behind the party pinny.

  4. I attended the meeting too. The Conservative party were embarrassing, they used a temporary numerical advantage to skew the make up of all the major committees. They were both blatant and bumbling in their attempts to get organised with two independents and claim hegemony over policy and planning amongst others. It would have been funny like Dads Army were it not so tragically undemocratic. Councillor Peacock’s comments were petty and small minded, exactly the sort of thing we don’t need in local politics.
    Councillor Begnett, the new mayor, made a perfectly good suggestion about PR and councillors Pearson, Peacock and Aird were vocally opposed, Councillor Geoff Cooper did what he always seem to do, say nothing and raise his hand when the rope tugs on his ankle. Sadly Councillors Jack, Dodsworth and Elvidge all voted against it as wevll, I must admit I expected more from these three community representatives. The councillors could at least provide the public with their reasons for opposing PR. Congratulations to councillor Begnett for the proposal, shame on the councillors who voted it down, it was a sad thing to witness.

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