“SHAMELESS Power-Grab”: Bristol’s Labour Mayor SLAMMED Over ‘Sinister’ Proposals For City Council
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has been accused of “putting more snouts in the trough” over his proposals to change how Bristol City Council is run.
Opposition councillors have accused Labour of a “shameless power-grab” following the proposals, with one even saying: “Putin would be proud.”
Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Green and UKIP locally have all accused the Labour Mayor of attempting to block opposition parties from holding the Labour administration to account by giving powerful positions to Labour councillors.
Bristol City Council officers and a cross-party group of councillors have been writing up a new constitution to set out how the authority should operate for over a year, but opposition groups argue that Labour have “dramatically sprung” the changes which will make major alterations to how the body works.
The proposed changes would see many key positions within the council – which are currently split evenly across all parties – be reallocated to represent the number of councillors each party has, which would mean massively increased power for the Labour party.
The Liberal Democrat leader on Bristol City Council, Gary Hopkins, said: “These proposals would put even more Labour snouts in the trough.”
“Not content with grabbing the cabinet positions they are now wanting paid jobs for many others in their group.
“They want to stifle balanced debate in council. Putin would be proud.”
Also hitting out at the proposals, Conservative Bristol City Council leader Mark Weston said: “Whilst this subject will appear rather abstract and dry to most people, the political reality behind this move is far more sinister.”
“If forced through, these changes would damage the ability of opposition councillors to hold the Mayor to account.
“It is nothing less than a shameless power-grab which makes inroads into the running and effectiveness of Full Council itself. This is one of the few remaining platforms left to challenge an increasingly sensitive and brittle Labour Mayor.
“Marvin used to talk about building consensus. However, this has obviously now been completely abandoned with this latest move in the Mayor’s attempts to stifle debate.
“Speaking on behalf of my group, we shall most certainly oppose this return to the sad old days of Labour misusing its position of dominance in the Council House to suppress and control political discussion on how they run our city.”