Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Southport Lib Dem chosen as Council Group Leader

Iain Brodie Browne was elected last night (14 May 2012) as the new Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Sefton Council. The Birkdale Councillor had acted as Deputy Leader for the past 5 years.
Iain told the Lib Dem Councillors that their job was to robustly challenge the actions of the ruling Bootle group of Labour councillors and to hold them publicly to account for the decisions they take.

 “I met with Southport’s Lib Dem MP John Pugh yesterday to discuss the tough decisions that lie ahead – for example on Libraries, Tourism investment and the Green Belt. Lib Dems have clear policy in these areas and will campaign vigorously to defend them."

 “I urge the Labour Leader to announce today that he will apply to the Boundary Commission to review the number of Councillors in the Borough and to agree to a cut for the highest paid Councillors’ allowances.

“There is a very real concern amongst the public that the Bootle Labour Party will turn their back on the rest of the Borough. Already we have seen that all the top positions have been given to Councillors from the Bootle constituency. It would be disastrous if towns like Southport-which elected no Labour Councillors, indeed the Labour vote fell in the town- were not fairly dealt with. We shall judge this administration by it actions not its press releases.

 “It is my hope that the new Labour Leader will not go down the road of dividing the different communities within the Borough but rather working constructively with representatives from the whole area. By appointing only his Bootle colleagues to the top jobs he has not made a good start. It would be outrageous if he continued by giving Labour Councillors the key positions of chairing the committees that are established by law to review and scrutinise his administrations actions".


  1. “I urge the Labour Leader to announce today that he will apply to the Boundary Commission to review the number of Councillors in the Borough"
    Are you proposing that less representation for the people of Sefton is a good thing?

  2. Hi Ged, I am suggesting that there are difficult decisions to be made -as one statemean remarked 'To govern is always to choose among disadvantages' Faced with the choices before us today the question of whether we could do with less Councillors without damaging the democratic process is a legitimate one. We are faced with Library closures, reductions in social services spending etc etc. Are they worse than having a dozen less councillors?
    I can see no principle behind our present arrangement ie 3 member wards with around 12 000 electors. In other places there are single member wards, in other met districts there are much bigger wards. I think there is a minimum number of councillors you need to run a council properly-but there is nothing sacred about 66 members. My proposal is that the boundary commission should review the issue. Most electors who have spoken or written to me support the proposal and in the consultation that Sefton carried out last year it was an extremely popular idea

    I will later today /tomorrow post on Merseytravel and tgheir governance arrangements. I would genuinely welcome your take on the issue highlighted there


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