Sunday, 15 August 2021

Green Voters not properly represented on West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority


With the new scrutiny arrangements for the West Yorkshire Combined Mayoral Authority bedding in following the Mayoral Elections it is pretty clear that the new governance arrangements are undemocratic and failing to properly represent the views of West Yorkshire voters.

 In the May Local Elections, of Parties represented on West Yorkshire Councils the Green Party got 10% of the vote while the Liberal Democrats got less with 9%. Despite this fact the Lib Dems have a ‘balancing seat’ on the Combined Authority and the Greens are not represented at all. Also the Liberal Democrats have 6 out of 48 seats on the Combined Authority’s Scrutiny Panels & the Green Party just 1 seat. That one seat is held by me and I'm our sole representative on WYCA and I sit on the Corporate Scrutiny Panel.

 This is not about the Green Party but about the 61,101 voters who made us West Yorkshire’s third most popular party in last May’s local elections. We were ahead of the Liberal Democrats who got 53,433 votes. That the Lib Dems should get 5 more seats on the Combined Authority’s Scrutiny Panels is clearly unfair and undemocratic and contrary to the views of West Yorkshire voters. I don't blame the Lib Dems for this it is the result of a system that doesn't reflect voters views bt instead the number of Councillors elected to each West Yorkshire Council.

 When proposals for the Governance arrangements for the Combined Authority were being negotiated between Government and West Yorkshire Councils the Green Party proposed that there should be an additional seat on the Combined Authority to ensure all voters were represented. Our proposals were ignored by Labour in their representations to Government on West Yorkshire Devolution arrangements. Obviously we think this is wrong but it is the voters who have been cheated of the representation they deserve. I recognise I now have a big responsibility to represent over 61,000 Green voters and I’ll do that to the best of my ability”.