Southampton City Council Leader, Richard Williams has forced Government officials to review legal complications which would prevent a Biomass Preferendum in Southampton.
Council leader Richard Williams has called upon local government minister Grant Shapps to revise Section 15 of the Representation of the People Act 1985, which would allow the two votes to be run side-by-side. He said:
“I am calling on the minister to personally secure his commitment to this course of action which will clearly not only benefit Southampton but the wider local authority community, both in relation to this year’s forthcoming election and police and crime commissioner elections in the future.”
The preferendum, which is to be held in Millbrook and Freemantle wards would be the first of it’s kind in the country, bringing democracy to local government.
Williams said of the preferendum, “This is about enabling local people to put their views across on an issue that could affect their day to day lives. Government ministers promised more freedom for local authorities under the Localism act and we haven’t seen this. I hope now that Government Minister will rethink the current legislation in place to enable the best result for Southampton and local government.”
“When the coalition government was formed the new Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles, who is Grant Shapps’ boss said:
“No-one in local government signed up to be told what to do by Whitehall. Now councils can be as ambitious, as radical and as innovative as they like”.
I just want the local government ministers to be as good as their word.”