Government refuses to abolish Byfleet Parish Council

June 23, 2005 10:00 AM

"This is a great day for Byfleet, and a dreadful day for local Conservatives - deservedly so in both cases.

"The decision of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister not to abolish Byfleet Parish Council is entirely right.

"It is right in substance because, in the words of the decision, "there is no overwhelming public support" for abolition. An effective Parish Council, working with local residents, could and should be a powerful force for good.

"It is right in terms of process, and vindicates the position taken by local Liberal Democrats in demanding a proper referendum before such an important decision was taken - a demand arrogantly rejected by Woking Tory Councillors, who also ignored advice from Borough Officers to undertake a fuller public consultation.

"The Byfleet Parish Councillors are now in an untenable position. Arrogantly anticipating a different decision from the ODPM, they have wrecked the Parish Council, firing the staff, vandalising the office and flogging off the assets. As their only basis for seeking office was to abolish the Parish Council, they are by definition unfit to run it as a continuing entity.

"They have no honourable choice but to resign forthwith. I say to them, in the words which Cromwell addressed to the Long Parliament: 'Ye have sat there too long for any good that ye may have done. In the name of God, GO.'"

Reference documents:

(1) Decision Letter by ODPM attached

(2) Statement by Cllr Philip Goldenberg, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Woking Borough Council

Contact Philip on 020 7291 8807 (O) or 01483 765377 (H)