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Cleveland Police Authority

June 16, 2007 10:10 AM
By John Fletcher in Evening Gazette

13th June 2007

The Editor

Evening Gazette

Dear Sir

Your article Tuesday's Gazette about the appointment of councillors to Cleveland Police Authority touches on the absurd result by which out of 9 seats:

• Stockton Borough, by far the largest in population and Council Tax contribution, got only one representative; and

• Councillors who belong to no political party, amounting to 13.67% of the councillors across the police area, got one third of the seats.

Owing to the way that the appointing committee was constituted, the Labour Party, with 47.16% of councillors across the area, had a majority on the day, which they used to:

• Ensure that, on a strained interpretation of the law and national guidance, Independents (who for this purpose legally cannot include registered independent parties, such as Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick, so no-one from Stockton Borough) got disproportionately more Police Authority seats; then

• Put onto the Police Authority an Independent who just happened to be propping up the Labour Coalition in Redcar and Cleveland; and

• Override the choice of the Liberal Democrats on the appointing committee - so Labour chose the Lib. Dem. member of the Police Authority.

Remember, Cleveland residents, all nine councillors on your Police Authority were chosen by Labour!

Remember, Stockton Borough Council taxpayers, when you get the next three years bills, your council tax for the Police comes from an Authority on which Labour gave you just one representative (who just happens to be Labour)!

Yours faithfully

Cllr John Fletcher

Liberal Democrat

Stockton Borough Council