Monday, 6 June 2016

Council now seeking your views on devolution

South Glos Council's ruling Conservative Group at first said that there would be no public consultation on the West of England devolution deal until after the four councils have decided whether to accept the deal. The Liberal Democrat Leader on South Glos, Cllr Ruth Davis, put an urgent question to the Conservative Leader of the Council ahead of Wednesday night's council meeting asking why this was. This is what the devolution page looked like originally:

After Ruth submitted her written question, this was changed to say:
During May and June 2016
It is your local councillors that will be making the decision on the proposed deal in June and you can give them your views here:
The council also put out a press release.

This is a step in the right direction, although as Ruth raised in her follow-up question at the meeting, it was still not on the consultation page, where local people would expect to find all council consultations. The Leader of Council promised to look into this.

The leaders of all three main parties wrote to Oliver Letwin  several weeks ago seeking permission to hold an indicative referendum on the devolution deal on the same day as the Europe referendum. He hasn't even had the courtesy to reply. A motion was proposed at the council meeting calling for a more formal Council approach to the Minister. However, despite having written to him previously, the Conservatives amended the motion to argue why a referendum is not necessary. During the debate, your Focus Team expressed concern about the limited information that is being given to the public.

We urge everyone to read the information that has been made available and to give the council your views.

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