The decision of the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s ‘Cabinet’ to go against a local vote and even overturn the decision of one of its own Committees has reached the pages of that satirical and current affairs journal – Private Eye.
In an article headed ‘A road runs through it’, the national magazine covers the failure of the Council to recognise the results of a vote that itself arranged on the dedication of Daniel Park as a QEII Field in conjunction with Fields in Trust (FiT).
Borough Council changed the rules
Campaigners say the Council has reneged on local people by ‘changing the rules’ after a vote was won.
The Cabinet, made up wholly of Conservative Councillors, then ignored the democratic decision of the ‘economic prosperity’ committee – an action that has many local residents both bewildered and angered.
Council to be challenged
Whitchurch Borough Councillor Keith Watts, supported by six other Councillors has asked for a ‘call-in’ to the full Council on the grounds that the decision was made without adequate consideration, particularly into the blight effect on local property values of a potential future road.
The process must be independent
Cllr Watts raised a question at the last full Basingstoke Council Meeting that any valuation work to determine the blight on property values should be carried out by an independent body, not by the Council itself.
The Leader of the Council (Cllr Clive Sanders) chose not to answer his point.
One campaigner said:
It would be incredible if they did any valuation exercise themselves.
It could never be seen as fair and independent, being carried out by those who acted despicably in ignoring the democratic process. Who could trust it?
Elections cause delay
Some campaigners say the whole issue seems to have regrettably become political which seems to be confirmed, as due to electoral protocols further considerations cannot be given to the matter by BD&BC until after the elections on 3rd May.
* Due to copyright considerations we are unable to reproduce the article in Private Eye (No.1312)