Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tories Attacked For “Closing The Door” On Democracy

Cllr Ian Manning
(LD, East Chesterton)

An opportunity for residents to have greater influence over county decision-making has been blocked by the Conservatives.

The ruling Tory group on Cambridgeshire County Council rejected a call to lower the number of petition signatures required to trigger a council debate.

Their decision came despite support from opposition parties and independent councillors who wanted to see the figure reduced from 15,000 to 3,000.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Lib Dem Ian Manning, who represents Cambridge’s East Chesterton called for the change to encourage greater participation in local democracy.

“Conservative leader, Nick Clarke and his Tory group talk about opening up democracy so I gave them that chance,” said Cllr Manning. “But they have slammed the door shut in the public’s face.

“I want to encourage debate and participation, so that it isn’t just local politicians who influence council, but local people as well. It’s a shame the Conservatives don’t share the Liberal Democrat view that politics should be opened up to give the residents they were elected to serve a fair say.”