Last month, full council decided in a narrow vote to retain the current Cabinet system rather than return to a committee system of local government.
Rather than rehash the merits of cabinet v committee system debate, I think we need to look closer at the actions of one of those who abstained from voting in the debate - the leader of the council Ron Woodley.
At first glance it does seem rather odd that anybody wouldn't vote on a paper which had their name on it. It was also interesting to see the pro cabinet bias.
This is in complete contrast to the comment Cllr Woodley gave to the Echo on the 20th June when he stated:
"We have also asked officers to look at reviewing the cabinet system of decision making and to consider whether we should move back to a committee system in the next municipal year, making the council more open, transparent and honest in its decision making process."
Or the comment he gave to the Local Government Chronicle in an article on Council's returning to Committee System when Cllr Woodley stated:
“The cabinet has been a dictatorship of eight or nine people and I think that is wrong. The right way is to involve as many councillors in decisions as possible.”
His abstention was designed to give the impression that he is a relaxed leader prepared to lead however his disciples saw fit yet what he abstention really says is that since being elevated to the leader of council he quite likes being supreme leader of the dictatorship that he describes.