Parties convince Letchworth BID to reinstate political stands

PUBLISHED: 07:01 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:04 07 June 2018

The Letchworth BID has reinstated political stands in the town centre. Picture: Love Letchworth

The Letchworth BID has reinstated political stands in the town centre. Picture: Love Letchworth

Archant

Cross-party representatives have successfully convinced the Letchworth BID to go back to allowing political parties to set up stands in the town centre, after the BID took the decision to ban them in the interest of being ‘balanced’.

Barry Neale, chair of the Letchworth and Baldock Liberal Democrat Party, the Green Party’s Tim Lee and Rhona Cameron from Labour sent a letter to members of the BID board expressing their disappointment in the decision, which has now been changed.

Part of the letter read: “We are asking you to reconsider this decision because Britain prides itself as being one of the oldest democracies in the world.

“Freedom of assembly is an essential part of democracy and a variety of political parties being allowed to openly campaign and put forward their views is the foundation stone of our democracy.”

The content of this letter was discussed at a BID board meeting on Friday, and led to political bookings to be reinstated.

A spokeswoman for Letchworth BID said that the main goal for pitch space bookings is to help increase footfall in the town.

“Historically, the BID has endeavoured to ensure equal representation from political parties when it comes to promoting their respective parties in the town centre,” she said.

“However, securing political balance was proving to be a challenge and, as a result, a unanimous decision was taken not to grant promotional space in the town centre to any political party.”

The BID received the letter sent on behalf of local Labour, Lib Dems and Green Party representatives, and held a meeting to discuss its content.

The BID spokeswoman added: “The letter was discussed at the board meeting and, as a result, and in line with the BID’s interest to support a wider and more balanced representation of political parties in town centre spaces, it was agreed by the board that all legitimate political parties would have the opportunity to – once again – book space to promote their party in the town centre.

“The decision has already produced a positive outcome with discussions taking place between the BID and the party looking to rebook space, and the BID would like to encourage all other parties to get in contact to discuss booking opportunities to help ensure equal representation for all.”

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