The Labour Group at South Gloucestershire Council have accused the Leader of the Council, Toby Savage of trampling over local democracy with his cancellation of yet another Full Council meeting on 18th March.

Labour group leader Pat Rooney said: “The Leader of the Council has cancelled yet another council meeting on the grounds that there is insufficient business for the agenda. We find this surprising given that the Labour and Lib Dem groups both have a number of questions to ask – yet again the Leader has removed the ability of opposition groups to question and challenge Cabinet members. In the last year there have only been 4 Full Council meetings at South Glos, with 2 cancelled because of elections. The removal of public council meetings is another sign of this Administration’s lack of transparency and lack of concern for local democracy, as it also denies the residents of South Glos their opportunity to speak directly to the council.”

Pat continued: “There are a number of items in the Cabinet’s Forward plan which are listed for decisions in March, and which are of interest to councillors regardless of political colour. Cases of Coronavirus may or may not have increased by then – the council meeting would be a good opportunity to get information out to the public, and again all councillors will want to know what plans South Glos. has put in place to ensure services are not disrupted. In addition, the Chancellor will present his budget on 11th March, which may include important announcements for Local Government, which could be discussed by Full Council in the form of questions from individual councillors. We are seriously concerned that democracy and accountability has disappeared in South Glos and has been replaced by a one-party or even one-person dictatorship.”

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