More in common
Allerdale is a large and sparsely populated borough, and is tremendously diverse.
It is a disservice to the population that all of the decisions are taken by 8 councillors on the Executive, and that 48 democratically elected councillors have little or no part to play.
Executive arrangements were forced on the borough under the Local Government Act 2000, but the Localism Act 2011 reopened the choices for governance structures.
Allerdale Conservatives favour a system that is more inclusive of all councillors, regardless of their political persuasion. Better decisions will be made by working together.
Any new system should ensure that all residents of the borough have a chance to be heard in decision making, through their elected councillor(s).
Flying the flag
The Mayor is first citizen of the Borough and is elected by the Councillors every year at the Annual Meeting of the Council. The Mayor chairs meetings of the Council during his/her term of office, and presides at civic and other ceremonial events held in the Borough.
Currently, the mayor is chosen along party political lines by the party in administration. Allerdale Conservatives would favour a system of mayoral selection that didn't politicise the ceremonial head of the council.
Transparency as default
Transparency is the foundation of local accountability and the key that gives people the tools and information they need to enable them to play a bigger role in society.
The Freedom of Information Act opened up local authorities to public scrutiny, while the Local Government Transparency code has mandated the publication of data in relation spending, contracts and senior salaries.
More recently we have seen a reversion in Allerdale Borough Council, with more meetings held behind closed doors, documents redacted from public view and information witheld from councillors.
Allerdale Conservatives believe that the council, and their contractors, should start from the presumption of openness and disclosure of information, and not rely on exemptions to withhold information unless absolutely necessary.