CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Face-to-face political action matters

10 May, 2018

Camden Town Hall

• I READ the comments by retiring councillors with some concern, (Dear new councillor… May 3).

If councillors were able to use technology to “dial into meetings”, they need never bother to turn up to the town hall.

Most councillors are elected to represent a political party as well as their constituents. Councillors have some commitment to the policies of that party, otherwise they should stand as independents.

It also means that they should be involved in discussions of policy and also its implementation by the council (or opposition. I thought it was a retrograde step when council committees were abolished in favour of an executive system (even though I was an executive member at one time).

If technology was to replace attendance at the town hall in a significant way, councillors would not be involved in face-to-face discussions (not Skype) with party colleagues or opposition councillors.

There is a certain amount of bonding in the town hall, as you get to know your party colleagues well (and even sometimes opposition councillors).

A smaller executive, suggested by former Cllr Andrew Marshall? We might as well do away with the executive all together and just elect an executive officer or mayor, as some boroughs already do.

Councillors are thus reduced to little more than glorified social workers, tending their constituents’ concerns.

DEIRDRE KRYMER
Twisden Road, NW5

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