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Labour Dodges Public Referendum

November 20, 2010 1:01 AM
Peter Coley

Lib Dem Council Group Leader Peter Coley described the whole process Labour proposed as a shambles.

Labour Councillors voted against the chance to give the people of Leicester a say on having an Elected Mayor at yesterday evenings Council meeting.

The ruling Labour Party is now only allowing a consultation which will last until December 6th 2010 - Only giving Leicester's 300,000 population 11 working days to make up it's mind rather than a referendum.

Members of the public which protested outside Leicester's Town Hall were later removed from the public gallery. One member of the public shouted 'shame on you' to Labour Councillors after they voted down a joint amendment by the Liberal Democrat and Conservative groups to allow for a referendum.

However a Labour Councillor has publically hit out at her Party because she said she felt the vote was "railroaded through" in a "bullying" manner. She was quoted in local press as saying proper procedure was not followed because (Labour) members were not told the issue would be discussed before the meeting and that (Labour) Councillors felt intimidated. A New Parks Labour Councillor said at yesterday evenings special Council meeting that "The decision already has been taken".

Lib Dem Council Group Leader Peter Coley who described the whole process Labour proposed as a shambles said, "As expected Labour Councillors forced through their proposals at the Council meeting, even ejecting some members of the public who were protesting at the lack of democracy in the process. Must say that was a brilliant way to start a consultation. As expected the labour arguments were crass and ill thought out with two of their own Councillors speaking out against their group to let us know that the Labour Party had indeed already made a decision to have an elected mayor behind closed doors and that the consultation was indeed a complete sham."

Link to local press article on this story is: http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/referendum-mayor/article-2918375-detail/article.html