(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)
Having lost his overall majority, Swansea Council Leader Chris Holley blithely informs us that, “This makes no difference to the running of the council ” and, “It is business as usual “.(Evening Post, Saturday 7 May, page 2)
Anyone who takes an interest in local politics will know that “business as usual” for Swansea Council means internecine strife, arguments, personal abuse, character assassination and constant blaming of other people – and that’s just during the public sessions of Council meetings. There are indications that things are much worse out of the public eye.
This is not limited to any particular group on the Council. They must all share the blame for allowing this situation to arise to the extent that it now risks undermining what little faith people still have in local politics.
With the Council now equally balanced Councillor Holley and his Lib Dem colleagues have a unique opportunity to bring all this to an end and usher in a new era of consensus politics.
Before they came to power the Lib Dems promised to end the Cabinet system and make the Council more open and accountable. They should now make good that promise.
Instead of discussing and agreeing policies in private and presenting the rest of the Council with a fait accompli, they could include other groups in the process from the outset. This would certainly help to remove a lot of the suspicion and mistrust that seems to pervade the Council.
Openness and inclusion might result in more trust, which might lead to greater co-operation between members of the Council – and that can only be a good thing.
It’s time to take the party out of politics, and for everyone to start working in the best interests of the people of Swansea.
Keith M Ross
Swansea Green Party