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HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM MEMBER DEFENDS CABINETS

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A Labour member of Hammersmith and Fulham LBC, one of the first authorities to introduce a cabinet system, has high...
A Labour member of Hammersmith and Fulham LBC, one of the first authorities to introduce a cabinet system, has highlighted the success that the adoption of such system has had around the country.

In a letter to The Independent (Review, p2), Adam Gray, assistant to the deputy member for environment and contract services, says of cabinets: 'Such a structure improves accountability by making specific politicians accountable for council policies.

'That is eminently better than ill-attended, sprawling committees where councillors can cop out of taking any responsibility for any decision.'

He continues: 'It is not the decision-making process that should be public but the act of scrutinising those decisions. Any two councillors can, in my borough, call in for debate any decision taken by cabinet members and that scrutiny takes place without a whip - far removed from the heavily party-controlled committee system of the past.'

He concludes: 'The most beneficial outcome of modernising local government is that, with the abolition of most committees, most councillors have no more excuses to hang around their town halls when they should be out in their communities, dealing with local problems.'
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