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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Council bans discussion of a 'yes' vote

There is a rather bizarre story in this morning's Western Mail, who report that Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor, Mike Powell has been barred by his local authority from tabling a motion in support of a ‘Yes’ vote in the Welsh Assembly powers referendum.

The paper says that the action was said to contravene a procedure which states that motions “must be about matters for which the council has a responsibility and which substantially affect the well-being of the administrative area of the council”.

Given that the Council has a responsibility for organising the referendum and that its outcome could well affect the body's future, I am astonished at this ruling. Surely the ruling Labour group in Rhondda Cynon Taf is not afraid to take a view on the future of Wales' legislative body.

The decision is even more surprising as the AM who has taken the lead in the 'Yes' campaign on behalf of the Welsh Government, represents part of this Council area and shares a political affinity with the ruling group. Has there been a falling out?

Rhondda Cynon Taf's decision contrasts with that of other Councils. On Thursday Swansea Council passed a motion to support the 'Yes' campaign by a large majority of those Councillors present. They did not take the view that the plebiscite was none of their business so why did RCT?
Ceredigion County Council also voted in favour by a cear margin back before Xmas.

Very odd that RCT wont allow a vote when other Council's do so. Clearly the Labour Party in RCT aren't as unified as they'd like to make out.
umm, wouldn't it be better not to have what you describe as the authorities responsible for organisising the referendum locally going on to express an opinion as to the best outcome?

Just asking.
No, this isn't a matter for local authorities. This is a matter for the ordinary people of Wales.
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