Local democracy and public involvement are at risk because of the way that the Labour controlled Redbridge Council are running their business.
First, we have a “cabinet” system which allows a few councillors to make key decisions affecting our lives.
Second, recent changes to the rules governing full council meetings mean a question from a member of the public may be rejected if it is "substantially" the same as another question asked in the previous six months, even if things have changed over that period.
Worse still, the provision for debate between councillors following a deputation has been removed from the constitution.
We, in the Liberal Democrats, believe that local people should be given more (not less) say in decisions that affect them. In stark contrast to the undemocratic instincts of this administration, we seek a return to Local Area Committees. These empowered people to make decisions (including how money is spent) that affect them most.
We would also like to see the introduction of proportional representation for local councils. This has worked very well in Scotland and would protect us against the type of one-party rule which has blighted councils like Redbridge for many years. This report by the Electoral Reform Society sets out the case for PR for council elections in detail.
Reform of the voting system for council elections requires national legislation so it is not something Redbridge Council can do on its own. The Liberal Democrats advocated this in their 2019 general election manifesto and remain committed to this important reform.