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Thursday, December 30, 2004

One party tyranny?

The Assembly Local Government Minister, Sue Essex, has announced that she expects the ruling Labour groups in the three Councils of Caerphilly, Newport and Torfaen to give up chairs of scrutiny committees and allow the opposition to have them instead. She has given them until their annual meetings in May to comply or she will lobby Westminster for a change in the law to force them to comply with her guidance. It is about time. Mind you, it is sometimes difficult to get the opposition to play ball with political balance for these committee chairs. In Swansea for example, the new Welsh Liberal Democrat-led Administration offered chairs to the opposition Labour group only to have the offer thrown back in their face.

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