12:43pm Tuesday 10th July 2012
Councillor Tim Crumpton is disingenuous in claiming that he and his colleagues remain “full members” of the Halesowen Area Committee (Letters ,4/7/12).
On the contrary, by choosing instead to become voting members of the Stourbridge Area Committee they have automatically forfeited their right to vote on decisions of the Halesowen Area Committee – surely the principal benefit of membership.
I have always sympathised with the plea of the Cradley and Wollescote councillors’ that much of their ward has a natural affinity with Stourbridge (notwithstanding that, administratively, Cradley itself has always been a part of Halesowen). Therefore, had he and his Labour colleagues decided that one – or even two – of them would avail themselves of recent changes to the Council’s constitution to become full voting members at Stourbridge I doubt whether anyone would have demurred.
However, for all three of them to forsake voting membership of the Halesowen Area Committee – despite the fact that it retains powers to decide important matters affecting their ward, including the allocation of its grant money? And, whatever high-minded reasons they claim for this act of abandonment, is it pure coincidence that by so doing they just happen to have altered the political balance of the Stourbridge Area Committee in the Labour Party’s favour?I guess the real test of the sincerity of Cllr Crumpton’s protestations will be whether, should control of the Halesowen Area Committee become more contested in future, he and his colleagues jilt Stourbridge to reclaim their voting rights back here.
In the meantime, those of us who do remain full voting members will continue to serve the people over whom we have decision-making powers – including those in Cradley.
Cllr Ray Burston, Chairman, Halesowen Area Committee.
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