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  • CarolineShah

Liberal Democrats have silenced legitimate challenge of their plans

Updated: Nov 30, 2019


No appeals allowed

Despite my challenge of this proposal at Full Council, the Liberal Democrats voted it through unanimously. Residents have sought Ed Davey's view on what is happening but he has sat firmly on the fence whilst the plans are being bulldozed through


At the meeting of Kingston's Full Council this Tuesday 15 October 2019 at 7.30pm at The Guildhall, councillors will be asked to agree to changes to the constitution which, amongst other things, will see the number of signatures needed for residents to challenge council decisions on ANY grounds soar from 100 to 2% of the electorate, which is currently 2,310 people


These changes are being made as the Council finalises its plans to allow 55,000 new homes in our Royal Borough in just 22 years. We currently have about 67,000 homes. In addition, they are planning the equivalent of an extra 36000 one-bed flats in commercial office space


No human being will be able to find the required level of support needed in the 10 working days allowed, which means that we will no longer be able to challenge decisions which are blatantly flawed, not based on logical argument or evidence and that have been undemocratically agreed


Tonight, I - together with 7 other people - have submitted a deputation to the Council in which we analyse WHY the recommendations to Council are UNSOUND, UNJUSTIFIED and ILLOGICAL, and in which we suggest call-in requirements that might form the basis for more democratic, fair and logical conditions for a challenge of the Council's decisions


Please read the deputation and consider which proposals make more sense and allow for most reasonable democratic involvement in the council's decision-making process, the council's (pages B3-B15 and B65-B69 of the linked document) or ours reproduced below:

DEPUTATION’S RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO CALL-INS


A. A community call-in will need no minimum number of signatures if it makes evidenced claims of a breach of any statutory duty


B. Community call-in requirements will relate to actual responses to the council’s own consultation responses as follows:


i. . The community call-in requirement will be 5% of the mean average number of formal responses to council consultations, counted as the total number of responses received from residents by the council during the previous calendar year - each counted once for any number of responses received from any person for any one consultation - divided by the number of consultations that were publicly consulted upon over that same year

ii. If 5% of the mean average responses to consultation received by the council over the previous calendar year is fewer than 100 people, the default number of signatories required for a community call-in will revert to 100 people


C. A councillor call-in will require support from 9 councillors or, in the case of a councillor call-in by an opposition party or opposition parties, the total number of opposition councillors in that party or parties on the council minus one person from each of the parties


D. A community call-in will require a maximum of 100 signatures where:


i. A Councillor call in has not happened because the threshold for such a call-in was not met but a majority of opposition councillors voted for a councillor call- in to take place


ii. The decision being made is a policy or strategy decision which failed to achieve a response rate from residents to the specific consultation in question of at least 2% of the Borough's population


iii. The decision being made is any decision in which the majority of residents by number who responded to the consultation opposed the decision that was made




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