Kingston voters are being given the opportunity to sack local councillors if they fail to meet a set standard in a bid to build greater trust in local government.
The plans, backed by James Berry and Zac Goldsmith, are part of a wider programme of constitutional reforms called ‘Renewing Kingston’s Democracy’ – something they hope ministers will copy at a national level.
Leader of Kingston Council, Councillor Kevin Davis, said: “At a time of massive challenges for local government we need to connect better than ever before with local people.
“In order to do that we must win greater trust and that is exactly what these measures are designed to help us do.
“Most local councillors work incredibly hard on behalf of their constituents, but occasionally the behaviour of local councillors falls below a standard that voters have a right to expect.
“Under these new recall proposals voters in Kingston would be able to do something about it – to kick them out of office and have a fresh election.
“Legislation does not currently exist to make councillor recall mandatory so I am proposing that we introduce this in Kingston as a non-statutory protocol which members are required to sign at the earliest opportunity upon taking office.
“I am writing to all the leaders of the 150 unitary authorities calling on them to do likewise.
“I will also be lobbying government ministers to consider introducing new legislation that would give this a statutory footing.
“I believe this approach should be used across local government to open up transparency, but also show government that when it comes to recall we must trust the voter and not leave it to committees of politicians to decide when wrong has been done.
“The voter knows best, let’s trust them.”
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