Beck calls for just one challenger for Parker

Peter Beck writes that he will not be standing again for :

I’m struggling with the committee work and the paperwork and the number of projects and plans that I need to keep up with as the council makes the major policy decisions which are its responsibility. There are others with much more ability than I have to scrutinise and work with this crucial committee work, reviewing and monitoring the proposals and recommendations of the council staff. I hope the councillors and others in our wider city community with these skills will step up and stand for election.

Many people don’t realise how much work is involved on a Council.

I have found the political infighting hard. At the council table I listen and contribute to the debate and then seek to make the best decisions I can for the city, not concerning myself as to whether or not it will win me brownie points with the electors. I’m sure my colleagues would say the same thing. But it is hard to build the trust that is really needed to ensure the very best decisions are made. It may be that the Westminster style of government with its combative culture, is the best we can hope for, but certainly at a local level, I reckon we can find better ways of governing our city.

It is a pity Beck doesn’t say who is responsible for the infighting.

Personally I blame party politics. When people are more loyal to their ticket and party, than to working together for the city. As I blogged previously if you are going to have party politics at local Council level, then you need to look at having a Mayor with more executive authority.

At this stage Bob Parker has declared that he will stand again. My hope is that there is one, and only one, seriously credible alternative so that the city has a clear choice. That is good for democracy. It is good for both candidates. Whoever is elected will then hopefully carry a real mandate of the people.

It will be interesting to see if this comes to pass, and if so who it will be.

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