Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Ward Partnerships - democratic accountability?

Local residents wishing to "play a role in influencing decisions and services in their areas" are invited by the Council to do so through attendance at regular ward partnership meetings with elected councillors in each of Islington's sixteen wards.  You may be interested to hear that one ward partnership appears never to have met, nine wards have no future meetings advertised and five of those have not met since September or earlier.

The council website states "Ward Partnerships have replaced Islington’s area committees and must be consulted by council departments on a range of issues that affect local residents including: planning and community benefit from developments; traffic and parking; road maintenance; utility works; crime and anti-social behaviour; environmental improvements; tree felling; litter, dog fouling and neighbourhood clean-ups."  

Islington Green Party congratulates those councillors who are advertising and holding regular meetings,  providing "a way for people and organisations in a ward to get involved, meet councillors, share their knowledge and to help tackle local issues".  But with half our wards having no future meetings advertised there appears to be a significant shortfall in local democracy in the system.  Over half our elected councillors should take urgent action to establish a programme of future meeting dates, advertising them widely to enable the community to engage with these important local issues. 

This was picked up by the Islington Tribune.  Councillor Convery seems unconcerned that meetings are not being held regularly in some wards depriving residents of the opportunity to "get involved, meet councillors, share their knowledge and help tackle local issues".

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