Letter: Is our democracy disappearing?

As an observer of Scarborough Borough Council meetings from the public gallery, I have written to the elected and non-elected leaders of the council expressing my dismay at the Conservative stranglehold that is eroding any hope of democracy for the people of this borough. The council, cabinet and all committees are top-loaded with Conservatives; therefore, it is a numbers game, and every issue that is discussed, debated or voted on, will go their way.

Who, for instance, is familiar with Cllr Simon Green who, at January’s full council meeting, was voted in by Conservatives as our next mayor? Opposing him was Labour Cllr John Ritchie, who has an excellent record and is currently deputy mayor – his sponsor recommended him, as did his seconder. Neither his nominator nor seconder, when asked, spoke up for Cllr Green, but he won the numbers game, of course. Those are the facts of the process. Do they represent the best interests of the borough, or party politics at its worst?

Opposition parties work hard to represent their electorate but, until they are fairly represented on the cabinet and in committees, they will continue to lose the numbers games, which must be wrong. We are in critical need of a change of governance - a return to committees with proportional representation. Perhaps we, the electorate, can work together to bring about much-needed change, starting now.

Daphne Barr

Prince of Wales Terrace