Conservative Tom Garrod (Wroxham Division) outlines why he couldn't support the Committee System.
"I find it astonishing that whilst preaching about openness, transparency, and accountability, Michael Baker cannot bring himself to tell the residents of Norfolk that as a UKIP Councillor he voted for a Labour leader. He hangs on to this idea about reforming the Norfolk County Council to a committee system next year. What he fails to realise is that the challenge is now!
"I cannot justify to my residents of Wroxham and the surrounding villages spending upwards of £290,000 on reforming the way that we govern ourselves when Norfolk County Council are having to save £66.5 million in this year alone.
"Just to give readers some idea; the plan to charge residents £2 to use recycling centres will save the Council £280,000 over three years. Is Cllr Baker really telling his residents of Holt that he'd rather inflict more charging for services on already tight household finances in order to create more expensive bureaucracy at County Hall?
"As for his claim that Conservative Central Office dictated to the Conservative Group that they couldn't move to a committee system is nonsense. It was in fact Eric Pickles, the Conservative Secretary of State for Local Government who allowed councils to opt back to a committee form of governance after the Labour Government dictated to councils that they had to move to a Cabinet style in 2001.
"The reason why the Conservatives on Norfolk County Council refused to form an alliance is that we find in this time of austerity, when the Council has to save £189 million over the next three years, it irresponsible to increase costs at County Hall at a time when services to our residents are having to be cut!
Councillor Tom Garrod
Conservative Norfolk County Councillor for Wroxham Division"
Keep up to date with Tom by following him on Twitter: @TomGarrod