THURROCK Conservatives have expressed their disappointment after Labour used the Mayor’s casting vote to prevent the opposition from chairing the council’s Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee.
Conservative leader Cllr Phil Anderson said:
“The whole purpose of these committees is to check on what the people in power are doing with the running of the council. Surely Labour don’t expect anyone to believe that a Labour scrutiny chair is going to give any serious criticism to their own cabinet member. No-where is this more vital than in areas like education and child protection, where a system failure can have tragic consequences.
“Both political parties have got this one wrong in the past, which is why it is now Conservative policy that no matter who is in power, scrutiny committees should be chaired by an opposition member. Labour leader Cllr John Kent has repeatedly claimed to support this principle, but when it comes to the vote he appoints his own lap-dog candidates every time.
“Democracy works best when there are checks and balances in place. Labour’s cynical approach to scrutiny committees shows that they have no confidence in their own policies, and dare not expose them to the light of constructive criticism.”