COUNCILLORS in Swindon complain they are being frozen out of decisions affecting their areas by the Conservative administration.

Two senior members of the Labour group made the claim at the the authority’s resources and corporate overview and scrutiny meeting.

Bob Wright, one of the Labour members for Central ward, said: “We have had meetings with the chief executive and there have been times where she’s told us about things that are going on.There have been times when she’s told us that she’s been obliged not to tell us things that are going on, even in our wards.”

“There was an example where there were proposals to make Station Road in my ward two-way traffic and I found a lot of resistance to my suggestions and information. I had to fight quite hard to get involved, and eventually that became a cabinet member advisory group and ward councillors were able to give positive information.

“But it can be difficult and there are times where we haven’t been informed about what’s going on in our wards.”

His comments came after senior officer Samantha Mowbray reported on a peer review visit by the Local Government Association looking at how the council manages its plans.

Des Moffatt, one of the Labour members for Rodbourne Cheney commented on one of the recommendations to 'drive further improvement where there is common agreement across the political spectrum.”

He said: “The peer review group was not impressed by the exclusivity of the leadership. It says in the body of the report the council would perform better if it could get all councillors across the political spectrum to buy in to what its doing.”

But Dale Heenan, The Conservative cabinet member for the town centre responded: “There are no conspiracies. I say this carefully, but I have witnessed how some councillors have been consulted on a cabinet decision, provide written feedback on the record, and then weeks later, in front of a public audience, claim to know nothing at all.”

Emma Faramarzi, vice-chairman of the scrutiny committee added: “We have an important community leadership role, and this means keeping ourselves informed and updated.

"This doesn’t mean a councillor should be spoon fed, but instead we must work together pro-actively for the benefit of Swindon. Irrespective of party politics, the majority of us have good working relationships.”