Reader’s Letter: Taking away our democratic right!

Ballot box
Ballot box

It is with utter dismay that I read that the residents of Bassetlaw are to be denied their democratic right to vote on a whim of Bassetlaw District Council.

It appears after a Motion to Council by three Independents the council as a whole is to move to four yearly elections instead of the election by thirds we currently have. In effect instead of voting each year we will be reduced to voting twice in a four yearly cycle, once for the county once for Bassetlaw.

What arrogance. No consultation with the electorate whatsoever. Purely as a cost saving measure our democratic rights are being undermined. If they didn’t have any elections that would save even more money, is that the next step?

Instead of open transparent governance we are back to decisions being made behind closed doors that affect all of us. No consultation is proposed or offered.

This outrage must not be allowed to happen. The council should hold a referendum to allow people to have their say on this change to the council’s democratic accountability.

I suggest if Bassetlaw is looking to save money they should immediately abolish the £1,000 per ward councillors’ allowance saving £48,000. In addition they should review their policy on Special Responsibility Allowances. Currently some councillors receive more than one of these allowances. Call it greed, call it patronage, call it reward for which way you vote. It should stop!

They should fall in line immediately with Notts County Council and many other councils’ practice that no one can receive more than one SR allowance. More thousands saved and our democratic rights protected.

Mr P. Skelding

(via email)