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Political groups at Burntwood Town Council should be disbanded to prevent national party lines impacting on local decision-making, according to the current Conservative leader.
Cllr Doug Pullen made his proposal ahead of the local elections in May.
The council’s leader said voting decisions were currently being made along party lines and not necessarily in respect of those of the residents being represented.
He has now written to his Conservative group calling for them to lay down political arms for the good of the town.
“If you look at any motion which has been opposed at Burntwood Town Council, you will see that the vote falls squarely along party lines.
“But the simple reality is that most of us share similar opinions, particularly in regard to local issues, and differences only become apparent when discussing regional or national policies.
“This new approach may of course take some time to bed in, there will no doubt be times when we are still voting along party lines – but I hope that this kickstarts a conversation around the usefulness (or not) of political groups at the parish level.”Cllr Doug Pullen’s email to Conservative members of Burntwood Town Council
Cllr Pullen told LichfieldLive that local residents expected their councillors to represent them rather than their parties.
“As a Conservative, I’m not particularly interested in ideologies,” he said. “I’m interested in what is pragmatic and what works.
“Although I’m sure some of my excellent Conservative colleagues might be shaking their heads in dismay at this idea, I think it is necessary to ensure a robust town council.
“While political groups are sometimes necessary to carry out the work of a council, this simply isn’t true at Burntwood Town Council.”
Principles, not party lines
Cllr Pullen said he hoped his idea to remove the party politics at a parish council level would be taken seriously by both Labour and Conservative colleagues.
“I think it’s time that we matured somewhat and that those who are elected as parish or town councillors feel able to vote in accordance with their own principles rather than along a party line,” he said.
“Of course, this will take two – or more – to tango, and I very much hope that Labour and any other parties elected would follow suit.”