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Thorny Old Subject for Councillor Sharpe
Excerpts from Watford Observer article of 15 February 2001Proposals For Elected Mayor 'undemocratic' Says Party Group Leader
February 15, 2001 15:39: PROPOSALS for an elected mayor in Watford have been labelled undemocratic and potentially corrupt by the leader of the borough's Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrat group leader Iain Sharpe, a member of the council's scrutiny panel, which looked at the new constitution, wrote a minority report, read out to the meeting.
He criticised the proposed constitution of Watford Council, arguing the elected mayor would have excessive powers, which would increase secrecy, reduce open government and enable councillors and citizens to be sidelined in the decision-making process.
Among the issues Councillor Sharpe claimed were dangerous are powers for the mayor to take decisions in private, without calling a cabinet meeting.
Councillor Sharpe said: "This would curtail debate, deny opposition parties the power to speak against decisions as they are made, and prevent the press and public from being present when decisions are taken.
"The mayor could become a quasi-dictator, with no obligation to pay attention to any other views. It could be a recipe, not only for bad decisions, but for corruption."
Excerpt from Watford Liberal Democrats 2002 Mayoral Manifesto
- Hold a referendum to enable the public to have their say on the new mayoral system at the earliest opportunity (ideally this should be before the end of the first mayoral term and we will press the government to allow this to happen).
Excerpts from Watford Observer article of 29 July 2005 p10Lib Dem councillors rejected a motion proposed by Conservative Councillor Robert Gordon asking for the council to make a request to Government that Watford be allowed to hold a referendum on the direct election issue.
Councillors from the Conservative, Labour and Green parties supported the motion, which was defeated by 23 votes to nine with two Liberal Democrats abstaining.
Councillor Iain Sharpe said that the Liberal Democrat group had not discussed the concept of a directly elected mayor so he could not speak for them. He said he would vote against the idea in a future referendum.
The fake sheik faker wrote the guy fawkes blog. Don't tell anyone it's only a rumour at this stage!