Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is that a Liberal Democrat Council Group I see before me?

Here at 'Liberal Bureaucracy', we do like to perform a public service from time to time, and this is one of those times...

The great minds of Liberal Democracy in England have come together and produced this definition;

A Liberal Democrat Council Group shall be automatically recognised if;

(a) Firstly; it comprises only Party members,
(b) Who all went through formal approval as candidates and,
(c) Who were sanctioned as official Liberal Democrat candidates by the D.N.O. and
(d) Secondly; it has Standing Orders that comply with the Party Constitution and,
(e) Provide that group offices should be filled by open and democratic election by the members of the Group.

It isn't all over if a Group does not fulfil all of these criteria, however. The Regional Party may recognise as a Group if it is considered unlikely to bring the Party into disrepute - Suffolk's Liberal Democrat and Independent Group would be approved, for example.

So, if you are a councillor at County, Unitary, Borough or District level, do check to see if your Group has been recognised by your Region. And if you have any questions, contact your Regional Secretary. We know everything...


Richard Gadsden said...

That definition worries me - it seems that if a group split, then both LD groups on the council would be equally entitled to recognition. I suspect that would make the Aberdeenshire situation even worse if it had happened in England under the new regulations.

Keith Legg said...

(b) and (c) would seem to cause a problem with defections, since technically the councillors won't have been approved as Lib Dems or sanctioned as official candidates (and, if they stand down, may never be.)

Richard, if memory serves then I think when Martin Ford left the Aberdeenshire group he'd already resigned as a member. The Scottish Party's new constitution was specifically designed with this episode in mind, and was passed by conference last October (although the Aberdeenshire delegates who spoke in favour of it were either politely heckled, booed and/or not applauded by the audience.)