Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 29, 2016

To Mandate Or Not?

In his comments about the proposal to rebrand Ormskirk ormap , Cllr Adrian Owens said that “To have made any change without a full public consultation would have had no mandate”.

The dictionary definition of mandate is “the authority to carry out a policy, regarded as given by the electorate to a party or candidate that wins an election”.

Does that mean authority only to carry out what was in a manifesto and hence a visible policy? Or does it mean once elected a political party chooses to make changes by right? Might it mean in the case of rebranding Ormskirk that had WLBC chosen not to retain the existing brand because some people wanted a change, a full consultation or, perish the thought, a referendum would be held?

I believe this may be the first time “no mandate” has been suggested here in West Lancashire but readers, and especially councillors, might know better. But full public consultations take time and money. To save all of that should all party candidates claim the right to make changes according to the authority assumed and defined in a mandate?

WLBC states “The Council is committed to informing, consulting and involving local people and we are keen to gather views from local residents and community organisations”. Is that commitment by statute? In which case shouldn’t the WLBC statement remove the words “are keen to” to be replaced by one word “shall”?

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