LAST week’s report about local councillors failing to attend meetings must raise concerns in the town; on the other hand perhaps their reasons are even more concerning.
Democracy is a wonderful thing but when it leads to one party having such a large majority – as has happened in Boston in the last two elections – it can lead to that majority being taken to the extreme.
One councillor, a member of the present ruling majority, is quoted: “Sitting in a meeting where everything has already been decided really isn’t what being a councillor seemed all about.”
Another felt he was powerless, saying the cabinet runs the council with three or four making the decisions and the rest (of that majority) all voting like sheep.
It appears that the old way of running a council, where people living in that ward and knowing a lot about that particular area, has gone. These days we have councillors living in the town representing some of the villages and vice versa.
Now the cabinet reigns supreme and the town has seen what can happen when there is no opposition in any way, shape or form to the decisions taken – be they good or bad.
There is a special meeting in the next few weeks to consider the decision over the Assembly Rooms. Do you really think the decision will change when there is an in-built majority for one party?
l It was also a little ironic last week to hear that Boston Borough Council is actually number one in the country – for paying high increases to its councillors!
This is not a new story but when it’s belatedly picked up by a national newspaper and ‘splashed’ it brings unwanted publicity to the council and town.
At one time councillors got an ‘attendance’ allowance; this is now changed to them receiving an annual allowance – whether they attend or not!
I notice one councillor with a full attendance record claimed “If you want to keep up with what’s happening . .. you need to attend because it’s so important. . . . You don’t learn if you don’t attend.”
Unfortunately it seems some attend but don’t learn what’s happening in the town by listening to what the ratepayers tell them.