Is Haringey Council guilty of a lack of scrutiny and consultation?

THE aim of the Local Government Act 2000 was to modernise the way local authorities work by making them more accountable, efficient and democratic. It provided for a transitional period before coming into full effect in 2002 and Haringey Council, to its c

THE aim of the Local Government Act 2000 was to modernise the way local authorities work by making them more accountable, efficient and democratic. It provided for a transitional period before coming into full effect in 2002 and Haringey Council, to its credit, was one of the first councils in the country to adopt it.

In the new scheme of things the Overview & Scrutiny Committee (O&SC) is meant to be an independent body that scrutinises council policy and a powerful watchdog exemplifying the democratic process, which by its form and actions it was intended to protect and promote.

But the committee has never been independent as the chair and the majority of committee members always come from the ruling group.

The outcome was predictable - the O&SC always toes the party line and plays down or ignores alternative views.


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This means the O&SC can never truly be fit for purposes, and where once Haringey was leading it is now lagging behind.

I sincerely believe the chair, if not the majority of the committee too, should be reserved for the opposition and so I call on all opposition parties to unite on this issue. After all, serving the public interest is not about financial reward, is it?

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MARIO PETROU

St Ann's Road, N15

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