DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF RESIDENT VOTERS.
Dear Fellow Residents,
I am the only City of London councillor who lives on Golden Lane Estate. I’m being prevented from properly representing you, and from protecting and promoting our interests. You can help change this.
Two years ago, I was elected with 558 votes – far more than any of the other 99 councillors in the City. I do not belong to a political party, and have no interest in a political career. I believe I got this mandate because residents wanted someone to stand up to the City Corporation and oppose its neglect of our wonderful Estate.
A year ago I successfully opposed the City Corporation’s attempt to delegate the planning decision on its own COLPAI development to Islington, meaning that all planning decisions about the development would have been made by Islington alone even though that development would affect us more than Islington residents.
Shortly after this, the City Corporation referred me to the police for prosecution, and to its own “standards committee” for an alleged breach of the code of conduct. Its reason was that I had a “pecuniary interest” in the delegation decision, even though it had never argued that that decision could have had any effect on the value of my flat. You can read more about this in the City AM articles “City of London Corporation caught in ‘gagging’ row after referring… and “City of London Corporation chiefs seek rule change after ‘gagging’…
In other local authorities, resident councillors are typically granted a “dispensation” for their full term of office to speak and vote on any matter which affects the area in which they live, as long as their interest is declared and it isn’t unique or special to them.
Last December, a colleague put two motions to the City Council to reform the “standards” regime. The first one resulted in the Council compelling the “standards committee” to partially relax its over-restrictive policy, but it’s already clear that the policy is still far too restrictive. Not even a debate was allowed on the second motion, which was to reform the tribunal proceedings.
Here’s what you can do to have your voice heard.
A few councillors and residents have drafted a petition for residents to sign, calling on the City Council to make immediate and fundamental reforms to its “standards“ regime. We’re now collecting signatures in a number of wards in the City. One of us will be calling at your flat within the next ten days to ask if you will sign. I’ll also be in the Community Centre to collect signatures from 17.00 to 20.00 on Wednesday 3 April, from 10.00 to 12.00 on Tuesday 9 April and from 12.00 to 14.00 and 19.00 to 20.00 on Thursday 11 April. The petition will be handed to the City Corporation on 15 April, to be presented to the Council meeting on 25 April.
There are around 6,000 resident voters in the City. We hope we can get towards 1,000 signatures, which will send a powerful message to the City Council that its residents should have the same level of representation as residents of other local authorities.
PLEASE JOIN US TO MAKE A CHANGE … SIGN THE PETITION SO THAT ALL RESIDENT COUNCILLORS CAN REPRESENT YOU PROPERLY
ADD links to press coverage as on GLE website