Petition seeking proper committee representation in the London Borough of Sutton for the residents of Beddington, Hackbridge and St Helier West

Is it right for Sutton Council to have a larger percentage of Liberal Democrat councillors on its decision making committees, than they won in the May elections?

Sign the petition

In the May 2022 elections, the Liberal Democrats lost 4 seats, but still have the same proportion of committee seats as the May 2018 election!

Reason for the petition

At the Local Elections, in May 2022, the Liberal Democrats won 29 seats, giving them a majority of 52.73%.  At a Full Council Meeting a vote took place for the Liberal Democrat to have a two seat majority on every committee.  This has resulted in the Liberal Democrats increasing their proportion of seats to 60.16%

The table below shows at a glance that this is not a true reflection of how residents voted.  Having lost 4 seats, the Liberal Democrats still have the same proportion of committee seats as they did after the May 2018 election. This means that wards with Opposition Councillors do not have representation on important committees.

As local community groups, Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Development Group and Beddington Neighbourhood Forum are asking that the Full Council of the London Borough of Sutton review this proportionality and amend it to reflect the democratic choices of those who voted. 

Background Information

The London Borough of Sutton is governed by a Council made up of 55 Councillors representing Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Labour and Independent Groups. The Council conducts its business via a number of Standing Committees and, by Government Act, seats on those Committees are distributed to the four groups in proportion to the number of seats they have on the Council.  

The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 established the principle of the proportional allocation of committee and sub-committee seats. Section 15 of the Act requires the following principles to be followed:

a)   That not all seats on a committee or sub-committee are allocated to the same party

b)   That the majority party must have a majority of seats on each committee or sub-committee.

c)    Subject to the above two principles, that the number of seats on the total of all ordinary committees allocated to each group bears the same proportion to their proportion on the full Council.

d)   Subject to a), b) and c) that the number of seats on each ordinary committee and each sub-committee allocated to each group bears the same proportion to their proportion on the full Council.

May 2022 Election

The Liberal Democrats lost 4 seats, meaning a reduction of their proportion of seats in Council.  However, the proposal voted for by the Liberal Democrat majority in Council and implemented by the Administration gave them a 2 seat majority on all Standing Committees, meaning they retain the same proportion of Committee seats as before.

This does not agree with section c) of the conditions of Section 15 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and is fundamentally undemocratic.

At the same time, the Labour Group who won seats from sitting Liberal Democrats are denied a seat and any voice on the Planning Committee, Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee and Scrutiny Committee

The Independents, who increased their share of the vote are similarly denied a seat and any voice on Housing Economy and Business Committee, People Committee and Audit and Governance Committee.

This denies the residents of Hackbridge, Beddington and St Helier West proper representation and a full voice at these Committees.


Please note that you must reside in the London Borough of Sutton to sign the petition, which will be presented to Council.

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