LETTER: Mayor shouldn’t m ake the decisions

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I read with interest your comments on Mansfield District Council and the bickering and backbiting between councillors of different parties.

Having been involved for more than 50 years in councils both in Scotland and Warsop Urban District and Mansfield District it reminds me of the advice given to me by my friend the late Tony Groves, leader of the Conservative group on the council. He told me Allan, when we are in the council chamber we fall out about policies, when we are in the members room, we are friends and have a drink together as friends should, we should never make things personal.

I do not think you have a grasp of what is wrong with Mansfield District Council in my opinion. The trouble started when the mayoral system was introduced.

In my time we had 46 councillors and everyone had their say on behalf of their constituents and the majority always won, no matter which party they were from. Now we have a system where we have 36 councillors, when we only need one, because under the mayoral system, the mayor or portfolio holder can overrule all of the councillors on any decision.

We have a situation at the moment where the mayor is under investigation for allegedly over spending what is allowed at an election. In my opinion what should happen is the mayor should carry on as mayor during this investigation, but not be allowed to make any executive decisions, such as one she has made which does not allow any full council meetings, so that members have no where to express their opinion on behalf of other constituents.

So perhaps in your next column, you could investigate how the mayoral system compares with the previous committee system where all members of the council had a say and voted according to what they thought not be overruled by the mayor or a portfolio holder.

Contrary to the belief of some in the district, during all of my 50 years of involvement in council business, I have not seen any outside interference from the National Labour Party, because in law, members are individually responsible for any decisions they make.

Allan McLean

Egmanton Road,

Meden Vale