The desire for power

PUBLISHED: 15:45 22 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:49 11 May 2010

JEREMY Fordham (Crow Postbag, July 17) quite rightly points out how unattractive of late have been the tactics of the Conservative Party at local elections, parachuting people into areas that they have no real affinity or knowledge of often against the

JEREMY Fordham (Crow Postbag, July 17) quite rightly points out how unattractive of late have been the tactics of the Conservative Party at local elections, parachuting people into areas that they have no real affinity or knowledge of often against the wishes of the locals.

But this is only a small part of a much greater awfullness in regard to their desire for power.

Once they have managed to persuade people that they are the best thing since sliced bread the new Tory councillor, who has made so many promises in his election material, finds that he, too, stands for nothing other than his vote.

The Tory Cabinet on South Cambridgeshire District Council (all seven members) have since taking control at the Great White Elephant at Cambourne - commonly called the council offices - carefully unwound the democracy that they should support and given themselves great authority .

The council's committee system - a place where the rank-and-file councillor used to be able to have influence - has been decimated.

Meetings of the full council, where real debate used to happen, are now down to a handful a year.

Advisory committees where councillors with particular interest and often expertise were completely done away with, to be replaced with "task groups" if and when needed.

In other words if and when it suits the administation's desires.

No wonder that so many of the Tory councillors have nothing to say on the few occasions when they have the chance. Perhaps they feel as let down as does Mr Fordham.

There is, of course, a way forward between now and the next district elections.

Ask your Tory councillor (for those residents to whom this applies) what they have been up to on the council, ask how often they have spoken in meetings, ask them to tell you how often they are told how to vote and, importantly, ask if they feel they are really making a difference or are they simply there to, as Mr Fordham was told, "to keep control of the council".

Cllr DEBORAH ROBERTS

Independent councillor for Foxton and Fowlmere

South Cambridgeshire District Council

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