Liberal Democrats in the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland are urging the Labour controlled Council to make an influential new committee more democratic.
The Labour Cabinet is proposing to give only three places out of 17 on the new Health and Wellbeing Board to elected members. All of these will be Labour Cabinet Members. The rest would go to senior officials from health organisations in the area.
However, at a recent Council Scrutiny Board meeting, Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale proposed that a majority of members be councillors, selected in proportion to their parties’ strengths on the Council.
This received support from Conservative, Independent and Labour Councillors.
Lib Dem Councillor Glyn Nightingale said:
“Transfering the powers of unelected Primary Care Trusts to the Counci by the Coalition Government was major step in improving local democracy But now the Labour hierarchy l seems to want to replace one unelected body with another.
“This is a very important committee. It will be responsible for making sure the health of the public in our area is protected and improved. The quality of life for thousands of local people will depend on it doing its job well. That is why it is so important that the committee is democratic and accountable.
“I am pleased that the Scrutiny Board has challenged the Labour Cabinet on this. I hope they will think again.”