The Tory Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council has put out a press release about next year's Council Tax without any discussion with councillors. Despite being a minority group with only 16 out of 39 councillors, the Conservative Leader has announced what the new tax rate will be with no opportunity for scrutiny or consultation.
After the Tories split in June 2020, the new Leader promised that there would be cross-party working and a move away from the old regime, where no discussion at all was allowed. This was a recognition of the changed circumstances, but it appears that any attempt to follow through on the promise has now been abandoned.
The announcement was made the day before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee was due to consider opinions for the draft budget and thereby making the meeting a waste of time.
Cllr Lawrence Nichols, Chair of the Audit Committee said "It is really disappointing that the Conservatives see no value in proper scrutiny and are not prepared to listen to alternative opinions on the budget. This absolutely reinforces the need for the Council to move away from the Cabinet system to Committees where members will have a real say and this type of dictatorial behaviour will not be possible."