Labour’s candidates for WMCA Mayor, Steve Bedser and Sion Simon, have now published their manifestos. Neither of them makes any mention at all of the glaring lack of democracy and public participation in the structures and processes of the Combined Authority that BATC has repeatedly criticised:
- The domination of the CA Board by white men.
- The exclusion from the CA’s bodies of workers and their unions, the users of services, and local communities
- The WMCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee incapable of holding the CA to account
There is widespread disillusion and cynicism among the citizens of the West Midlands about local government and their local politicians, as demonstrated by the low turn-out – below one in three – in local elections. The question for the WMCA is: will it further reinforce this public alienation from local politics or will it begin to overcome it and inspire citizens with the belief that they can have an influence over the conditions that shape their lives?
BATC has sent a statement of its views to the two Labour candidates – see The Governance of the WMCA – where’s the democracy and public participation? 24 June – asking for their views. We will post their replies when we hear from them.