Epsom and Ewell is the only borough in England that has always been controlled by independents. The RA movement has been so successful that the Borough Council now has 32 RA councillors out of 38. Three of the five county councillors elected in Epsom and Ewell are RA councillors.
Councillors work closely with their own Residents’ Associations and feed through local concerns into the decision making process. They remain representatives, not delegates.
Most borough work is done in committees
The policy committees are:
- Community and Wellbeing
- Environment and Safe Communities
- Licensing and Planning Policy
- Strategy and Resources
You can find a full list of council committees on the Epsom and Ewell Borough council website.
There are no shadow political groupings which precede these meetings and decisions are reached after full and free debate. A single councillor can request that a decision is taken by the full Borough Council by making it a “recommendation”. However, the RA controlled Council has no leader and there is no whipping of councillors as in other parties.
Every councillor is free to represent their residents’ points of view and vote accordingly. Many debates genuinely sway opinion one way or another. The free vote at the end being the purest form of representative democracy.
An RA councillor may of course hold political views on national politics. If he or she is to be nominated for election then those views should be subordinated to local concerns. This has led to a Borough Council which better reflects a cross section of political views than one which is controlled by a particular party.