05 July 2005

Constituency (GC) Meeting

A good meeting tonight. Lots to say!

Two resolutions were passed. The first resolution put forward from Preston Park ward was about the lack of consultation with the public about council decisions.

Unlikely as it sounds, the wheelie bin issue has been causing a swell of rebellion amongst residents. Almost 400 people in Preston Park have supported 'pavements for people' in protest at the imposition of wheelie bins. Basically the Labour controlled council was addressing the problem of rubbish bags being torn apart by seagulls, foxes etc leaving rubbish in the street. It was decided certain streets should have wheelie bins. Unfortunately a number of households on these streets have limited space and access problems which meant they had to leave wheelie bins on the pavement. The site of these bins caused outrage amongst residents leading to rebellion at the 'eyesore' it caused. (If only such a reaction could be provoked about climate change!).

Anyway the upshot is that the wheelie bins have been withdrawn! Preston Park ward felt that better consultation could have prevented this resident reaction and the GC has agreed and past the motion for better consultation on such matters in future.

The second resolution was the one on electoral reform that I have alluded to in a previous post. After a very informed debate and a close vote, the resolution was passed and will be sent to David Lepper MP for his views. The chair informed us that David Lepper is already a member of the Labour campaign for electoral reform. The resolution passed was as follows;

" This CLP believes that the present system of election to the House of Commons is distorted because:

1. Elections are decided by a small number of electors in marginal constituencies
2. Governments are consistently elected by a minority of the electorate
3. Parliament does not represent the full spectrum of opinion

We therefore urge the government to introduce in this parliament a more proportional system for the next general election, to ensure that everyone’s vote counts"

If enough constituency parties can pass this sort of resolution then hopefully pressure can be put on the Labour government to honour its 1997/2001 pledge on a referendum. Even the 2005 manifesto mentions the possibility of a referendum. I have contacted the pressure group Make Votes Count, who will post an article on their website about this.

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