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Barnet Borough Council committees reallocated after 'flawed' allocation
The ruling Tory party came under fire tonight after it refused to weaken control of one of its most powerful committees.
Barnet Borough Council was forced to reallocate its committees during the full council meeting at Hendon Town Hall, in The Burroughs, after an error meant they were incorrectly calculated.
The number of seats on most committees was changed to an odd number, giving the Conservatives a majority of one to reflect the balance of the council.
However the policy and resources committee – which sets the council’s budget – will have 12 members, giving the Conservatives a majority of two.
As councillors voted to reallocate the seats, Labour leader Alison Moore proposed an amendment to the motion to reduce the number of seats on the policy and resources committee to 11.
She told the committee: “Following the absolute shambles that this administration presided over last month we are now having to go over the whole process again.
“Giving the Conservatives a two-seat majority on the main policy and resources committee even though they only have a one-seat majority in the council chamber is not proportional or fair.”
Her motion was rejected by the Tory majority.
Last month, councillors were told the allocation of seats had been “flawed and invalid” and the error threatened to grind all meetings to a halt.
However after seeking legal advice, the authority said decisions made by committees until they could be reshuffled would be valid.
Cllr Richard Cornelius, the Conservative leader, told the meeting this evening: “This is something that none of us expected and there is an investigation on going about how it arose.
“We have to take a pragmatic view on how to set this right and this seems to be satisfactory solution.”