Eastleigh residents denied local referendum

Eastleigh civic offices

Eastleigh residents are being asked if they want to directly elect their own Mayor, although they are being denied the chance to hold a referendum in order to decide.

Recent legislation requires all councils to make changes to the way they choose their leader.

They have to adopt one of two options – the first is to largely similar to the current Leader and Cabinet model where the Leader is a councillor who is selected (or deselected) by his colleagues.

The second option is a Mayor and cabinet model, as currently enjoyed by Londoners ,where the mayor is not a sitting councillor and is directly elected by the public.

An elected Mayor does have to be a member of a political party, which raises the possibility that the public could vote in a maverick like Boris Johnson or Ken Livingstone or a representative of a party other than the party with largest majority.

Once elected the council would not be able to remove the Mayor who would also be free to select his own cabinet.

Whichever option is chosen by the council the first election would be held next May.

Although the council decided not to hold a democratic referendum on these important and far reaching changes to local government, Eastleigh’s residents can still have one provided they are able to present a petition which has been signed by a minimum of 5% of the borough electorate.

However the council does not appear to have published the minimum number of signatures which would be needed to support a valid petition to force a referendum on whether or not the borough should have an elected mayor – although this is a requirement of the Local Government Act 2000.

As things stand anyone who would like to make their preference known to the council, or submit points for their consideration must do so by October 15th when the consultation period ends.

These should be sent in writing to:

A R Ward

Head of Legal & Democratic Services

Civic Offices

Leigh Road

Eastleigh

SO50 9YN

cabinet@eastleigh.gov.uk

The council will then make their decision at a meeting on December 16.

More details here: http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/executive

 

So much for the ‘Big Society’ and devolved government. Would you like the opportunity to elect your own Mayor? Or do you think this is a decision best left to the ‘experts’? Do you think we should have a referendum?

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  14 comments for “Eastleigh residents denied local referendum

  1. peter stewart
    September 27, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Hmm! Hmm! Hmm! I wonder which model our Council will choose! Hmm!

    To get the required 5% of signatories (around 3,000) would be technically possible but in practical terms unthinkable in the time left.

    Democracy is dying. It is dying at grass roots level because it is dyinig at a NATIONAL LEVEL. That started in 1973 when the Tory government aided and abetted the annexation of our democratic Parliament by a foreign power (the EU). Since then it is inevitable that democracy should die at the grass roots level. I mean when you cut off the head, the arms of the body die too!

  2. Davo
    September 27, 2010 at 10:42 am

    the council sraped a CO-OP in chadler ford with just 600 names on a petition

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      September 27, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      the council sraped a CO-OP in chadler ford with just 600 names on a petition  

      Yes, that’s right.They turned down planning for the the Co-operative society in response to a petition, even though the council state on their website that they will not consider petitions on planning matters it’s clear they will make an exception when it suits their purposes

      http://www.eastleighnews.org.uk/news/?p=3309

      Pete Stewart says it would take 3000 signatures and there is not enough time to collect them – but we dot know what the exact figure is or when the deadline is because the council have not published the information as they are required to.
      What is known is the council will only accept paper petitions. A facility to start e-petitions on the council website – another legal requirement – is not due to start in December, after the decision on an elected Mayor will have been taken.
      Tut tut tut.

  3. Graham Hunter
    September 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Seems EBC have long forgotten the meaning of democracy, surely they have not really met their legal obligation to let the residents decide which system they want within a reasonable and realistic time frame!

  4. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    September 27, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I would like to hear their reasons for not allowing a referendum on this important issue.

  5. peter stewart
    September 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    The electorate of Eastleigh is around 70,000. Actually 5% of that is 3,500 not 3,000. When is the DEADLINE for handing in the petition? If there were enough people willing to get involved in collecting signatures then it COULD be done. But I reckon it would take some doing.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      September 27, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      Consultation period ends October 15 th, but We don’t know what the deadline for a petition is there is no information on the procedure on the council website. Although there is supposed to be. You know, it’s almost as if they don’t want us to have an elected Mayor.

  6. Matthew Myatt
    September 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I am so sick of the way EBC continue to totally disregard the legal duty they are under to the people of Eastleigh and ignore the law on local democracy.

    They do this time after time because we the people of Eastleigh let them do it..

    Come on Eastleigh, please stand up and stop being butt fu*ked by our Neo Nazi dictatorship of Mr House and his puppets.

    Lets demand our right to have a democraticly elected Mayor from the real people of OUR borough and rebuild this once great area of Hampshire by putting a stop to these BARMY Lib Dem unchecked polices forced upon us weekly by Mr House and his puppets..

    I would stand for Mayor given the chance, you might not vote for me but I would welcome the chance to exercise my democratic right to stand.!!

    Vote MYATT for Mayor. Donations welcome at PO Box 99, Eastleigh.

  7. Davo
    September 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    the counil are keeping heads down and flying under the radr cos keith houses worried tory woud beat him. to much money to loose

  8. Carole
    September 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I cannot believe some of the childish remarks that have been posted here.
    What makes everyone so sure that the Council will not want to have an elected Mayor?
    How would you know that?
    Why do you think that Keith House would be ‘scared’?
    Have you not noticed that the MP for Eastleigh, seven out of eight county councillors and 39 out of 44 borough councillors for Eastleigh are all Liberal Democrats?
    Keith House would relish the challenge and say ‘Bring it on.’
    The conservatives do not have anyone of the same calibre neither does Labour.
    I’m sure Keith will be looking forward to seeing his careful stewardship of the Borough endorsed by the whole electorate.
    No other result would be possible.

    • Matthew Myatt
      September 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm

      Nice to have Louise Bloom joining us on the debate.!!

    • Matthew Myatt
      September 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      Would also be nice if you read the rules on voting for a Mayor as Mr House and his puppets would not be able to stand as an elected Mayor as they are councillors.. Now who is making childish comments??

      We will not get a vote on this issue because Mr House is spineless and afraid that someone who really does care about this Borough would get elected and put pay to the barmey Lib Dems anti Eastleigh policy.

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        September 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

        Well, there is nothing to stop him resigning his seat to stand. I’m sure Carol is probably right – as things stand the Lib Dems would walk it but its not about who might or might not win – it’s about giving people a greater say in Local Democracy.
        Or can you have too much Democracy?

        • Matthew Myatt
          September 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm

          Well said sir..

Comments are closed.