THURROCK Council has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP to call upon the government to introduce new legislation about Right of Recall for Councillors, in the event of a significant conduct or ethical breach on the part of elected Ward councillors.
Following Full Council last year, it was agreed Thurrock Council would write to HM Government and “Call upon the Government to introduce legislation to provide for a right of recall of local government councillors, alongside Thurrock Council also exploring the possibilities to introduce its own recall scheme.”
Right of Recall is when voters have the power to recall their representatives – in this case, their local councillors. A similar variant is already in place for MPs with the Recall of MPs Act 2015.
Deputy Leader, Cllr Shane Hebb who is overseeing the policy progress further, is pleased. He said: “The Council’s Monitoring Officer has been looking into the legalities of such a change, and I’m pleased there were many voices across the council chamber who were in favour of a higher form of accountability.
“If changes were to be implemented – then should a councillor fall foul of an agreed set of criteria – like not attending meetings, conviction of a crime or breaching the members code of conduct – voters would have the choice to recall their representative and go to the ballot box to choose another candidate.
“As councillors, we are effectively immune from our residents calling time on any bad practices until a future election. It is the belief of this Council that significant lapses of judgement and behaviour do warrant sanction far sooner in some instances – and that our bosses – the electorate, should have a say in calling time on such elected representatives .”