'Fringe parties are good for local democracy' says departing Green councillor (From Watford Observer)
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'Fringe parties are good for local democracy' says departing Green councillor
Minority parties need to survive in Watford to prevent the mainstream parties lapsing into complacency, a departing Green councillor has said.
Steve Rackett, who resigned this week after ten years representing Callowland on Watford Borough, said independents and fringe parties were good for local democracy.
The 49-year-old, who leaving to take up a job outside the county, also said elected politicians should be barred from do more than three terms.
Speaking to the Watford Observer this week, Mr Rackett said: "It is important to have one or two councillors outside the political mainstream. Whether you agree with them or not, it is good for democracy to have Malcolm (Meerabux), or the Greens, or UKIP. It gives a shock to the main three parties from their complacency to have some from the outside looking in."
Mr Rackett was first elected in 2003 to his seat in Callowland and the again in 2007 and 2011.
He also represented the area on Hertfordshire County Council between 2005 and 2009. During his time the Greens have taken and held all three borough seats in the Callowland ward.
Reflecting on his time at the council, Mr Rackett said he thought the councillors should more active scrutinising large projects such as the health campus.
He said: "Half the money is going into this when we don’t even know where what buildings are going where. It’s a fantasy."
Mr Rackett also said he felt that elected mayors and councillors should be stopped from running for more than three terms.
He added: "I was never going to do more than three terms (as a councillor) and a passionately believe nobody should.
"In America there are safeguards that don’t allow you to do three terms."
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