The Echo’s urbane political journalist, Geoff Percival, sums up Tuesday night’s council meeting pretty well:
We back Labour policy, say Tories
TORY Rochford district councillors found themselves in the unusual position of defending Labour party policy at the annual meeting of the council.
The Conservatives had come under attack from Lib Dem leader Chris Black, who said he could not support the council’s new constitution.
Under this, the leader of the council will be elected for a four-year term unless he is removed by a vote of no confidence.
The leader also nominates the members of his cabinet.
Mr Black said: “It seems this council is eager to follow Labour party policies and this move will not be of any benefit to the council.
“It will cut down on the opportunities there are available for debate on any issue and there will be less of a role for ordinary members.
“It does not seem the same as when it went through the committee system and then to the full council when there could be further discussion, sometimes leading to decisions being changed.”
Tory council leader Terry Cutmore said he believed the proposed constitution was the best for the future of the district.
He added: “While this is Labour Party policy, we are elected here to carry forward our policies and that is what we are going to do.”