Cambridge Liberal Democrats fear sweeping changes to the City Council’s area committees could seriously reduce residents’ say in decision making.
The changes mean that the Labour ruling group intend to reduce the frequency of area committees by over 30 per cent a year.
Lib Dems fear this will severely impact on residents’ opportunities to hold their councillors to account.
Councillor Rod Cantrill said: “This is a backward step for the City Council. It will mean the loss of local decision making and more decisions will be taken behind closed doors in the Guildhall.
“Cllr Lewis Herbert, The leader of the Council indicated at the Council’s Annual Meeting that the Labour ruling group intended to ‘refresh’ Area Committees – this step highlights that the new ruling group intend to do the opposite and ‘suffocate’ Area Committees
“Area committees provide an environment for residents to speak without feeling intimidated which they sometimes feel when attending meetings at the Guildhall.”
Cllr Mike Pitt said: “Labour has wasted no time in making this move which will lessen residents’ involvement with the City Council. They have taken this decision without consulting residents who will be directly affected by these proposals.
“I hope that it is not a sign that Labour are being arrogant with the democratic power the residents of Cambridge have entrusted them with”