No stars for B&NES

I won’t often be dragged into party politics but l WILL publish this release from the local Lib-Dem group on B&NES because it shows how loyalty to the party flag overrides the fact that – locally – a majority of Bathonians voted to remain in the EU during that flawed referendum that forever will shame out history.

Bath Guildhall
Bath Guildhall

I am allowed to be biased now. This is MY baby. Here’s the release:

“Should the public be given the final say on whatever deal the government reaches with the EU? That was the question put to Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset yesterday evening, as the Lib Dems proposed that the Council should back the People’s Vote campaign.

The original Lib Dem motion called for the Council to publicly back a People’s Vote on the final terms of any Brexit deal, including the option to maintain full EU membership. However a Conservative amendment deleted most of the motion, replacing the wording with a suggestion that residents write to their MP personally if they have a view.

Kingsmead Councillor Sue Craig, who proposed the motion to Council, commented:

“Brexit is the biggest issue in UK politics. It will affect the life of every resident in Bath and North East Somerset as well as having a major impact on Council services and finances. So it’s incredibly disappointing that many local Councillors refused to take a stand on the issue.

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“The Conservatives defended their wrecking amendment by claiming that Brexit is not Council business. But what is more relevant to the Council than damage to local businesses and farmers, changes around public protection and the environment, staffing for health and care services and funding for research? Councillors do B&NES residents no favours by burying their heads in the sand.”

Lib Dem Council Group Leader, Councillor Dine Romero, added:

“Conservative objections to commenting on national political issues do seem a bit odd given that we were also asked to support a paper titled ‘Influencing the Central Government Policy Agenda’ in yesterday’s meeting.

“Most residents are clear that Brexit will damage public services. Only recently the Local Government Association warned that there could be an £8.4 billion shortfall in local authority funding when we leave the EU. That will have a direct impact on the services the Council is able to provide.

“It does mean something when Councils take a stand. We should join our voices to the dozens of other Councils which have already backed the People’s Vote. If enough Councils, businesses, organisations and individuals speak up, then the government will be forced to listen.”

 

As Dine says, other authorities – including the Scottish government – have quite happily backed the People’s Vote.