Letter: Position of council chairman has been politicised

Parking bays in South Shields.
Parking bays in South Shields.

In my view our mayor has achieved something which has never happened, either in the old Mansfield Borough Council or the Mansfield District Council history. She has politicised the position of chairman of the council.

As my dear friend Maurice Sims told me when he was district council chairman, when a councillor is chairman, every church is his church and every party is his party, as the chairman is independent of politics.

Kate Allsop, our present mayor, says she does not want a Labour member to have the casting vote. Obviously, she does not know protocol as I understand it.

For hundreds of years, the tradition of chairman of councils was when casting their vote as a casting vote, they always cast their vote for the status quo. Saying that if the decision is that close things should stay as they are.

I am sure that the public in Mansfield are totally unaware of how undemocratic the mayoral system is. We have 36 councillors on the district council, but the mayor or a portfolio holder can overrule the elected members.

Is that democratic? Under that system we only need one councillor, not 36.

I think the council tax payers have a right to know how much it cost to end the contract of the managing director as it is council-tax payers’ money.

We the council-tax payers have a right to know.

Allan Mclean

Egmanton Road, Meden Vale,
Mansfield