We desperately need a committee system on Fenland District Council - residents deserve honest representation

Local politics needs to change. People are losing faith in the political process. The system is failing us.

When asked privately, councillors often say “there’s no place for national party politics in local councils” yet they take the party line when whipped.

Whipping, which often takes place at pre-meetings, means that whatever their own view, councillors are instructed to vote the party way.

Whipping of councillors by parties is a major blow to democracy in local politics. It stifles debate, denies a free vote and fractures consensus. Integrity, honesty and conscience should be the driver, not the whip.

Dictionaries describe a cabinet as “a private room”. Not very inclusive by definition. This is the gist of the problem.

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The council leader alone decides who may enter his inner sanctum. Often the key to the cabinet is based purely on loyalty to the leader rather than experience or aptitude.

The acolytes are ‘self-whipping’, as to veer from the leader’s steer could mean banishment and a loss of the extra allowances paid to cabinet members.

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I believe there have been some questionable decisions made by the cabinet. The cabinet system is certainly not open, transparent, inclusive or democratic.

It’s simply medieval self-serving and divisive. In my opinion it leads to some ill thought-through, weak and bad decisions.

We desperately need a committee system on Fenland District Council. Residents expect and deserve open and honest representation.


Independent district and town councillor,

Waterlees Ward, Wisbech

Via e-mail

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