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Constitution change hailed as 'massive boost for democracy'
A CHANGE to the constitution of Wiltshire Council is being hailed as “a massive boost for democracy” by Liberal Democrat members.
The group was successful in persuading the council to change the rules about challenging decisions made by the Cabinet or leader.
Whereas before, it was only the chairman or any three members of the council’s scrutiny committee that could call in a decision for further examination, now any ten non-Cabinet members can vote for the move.
The Liberal Democrats originally proposed that any five members could order a call-in, but when the change was debated by the full council, it was agreed the number would go up to ten.
Under the call-in rules, the council’s scrutiny committee can go over the evidence on which the decision was based and then refer it back to the Cabinet for re-consideration or they can send it to the full council for a decision.
Cllr Jon Hubbard, Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “While it may appear to be a relatively minor change, it is a massive boost for democracy.”
He said residents could lobby their local councillors in the knowledge they had some ability to challenge decisions.