In Praise of a Conservative Councillor
Jan Powell was the Chair of the Scrutiny Committee for Health and Adult Social Care at Cornwall Council but I have just heard that she has been taken off the committee and so removed as Chair by her group leader, also leader of the council Alec Robertson.
This is a stupid move, driven by party politics and the weakness of a leader afraid to be challenged on any issue.
Jan earned respect from all parties for the work she did as Chair and her focus was the best for people in Cornwall not the Conservative Party. People who rely on adult social care need independent, rigorous scrutiny of health and social care policies. Clearly anyone who does that in the Tory Party will be out on their ear.
Maybe I am going on a bit (late, glass or two down the line) but this matters. Scrutiny is about effective challenge, holding the executive to account and acting on behalf of people not parties. A good leader would appreciate what this adds to their administration and how it can improve services and deliver for people in their patch. A weak leader just wants to snuff it out.
Jan was also one of the few women allowed into the boys’ club. In Alec Robertson’s council, only Yes Men should apply.