Willesden Green election candidate calls for powers to ditch under-performing councillors
PUBLISHED: 15:52 06 March 2014 | UPDATED: 17:52 06 March 2014
A candidate in the forthcoming council elections wants residents to have the right to ditch a councillor if they believe they are failing in their duties.
Alex Colas, who is standing in Willesden Green, is calling for changes to allow democracy in the town hall and accountability of elected councillors.
The 44-year-old, who is standing for Make Willesden Green, an initiative by residents who have campaigned to save public services in Brent, has included the proposals in his manifesto claiming a number of councillors have failed to represent their constituents.
He said: “I pledge to be fully accountable to residents if elected as a councillor. In the event of 51 per cent of the number of voters who participate in the election in the Willesden Green ward signing a petition for my recall, I will resign to force a by-election in order that voters can judge my record.”
Rev David Clues avoided triggering a by-election by attending one meeting every six months after moving 80 miles away to Brighton in December 2011.
He was heavily criticised with claims that he failed to respond to phone calls and emails from residents leaving the two other ward councillors, both Labour, to deal with local issues.
He finally resigned last November.
Cllr Gavin Sneddon, Lib Dem councillor in Willesden Green, has also been slammed for attending just three meetings last year since moving to Barnet.
Mr Colas said: “This pledge injects some direct democracy into our local politics and will serve as a warning to councillors that they cannot simply rest on their laurels in-between elections.
Asking all candidates standing in the Willesden Green ward to follow his stance, he added: “We need better representation and more opportunities for people to participate in the democratic process...”
Mr Colas’ manifesto also includes proposals to allow residents to address meetings at full council, given residents control over Ward Working money and to end automatic allowances for councillors.