Publicity for by-election
PUBLISHED: 12:47 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010
SIR - Since I got back from my holiday many people have contacted me to say they were astonished by last week s Comet which devoted its front page to one possible candidate in the forthcoming by-election for the town council. I have assured them, that I h
SIR - Since I got back from my holiday many people have contacted me to say they were astonished by last week's Comet which devoted its front page to one possible candidate in the forthcoming by-election for the town council.
I have assured them, that I hope that the paper will give equal prominence to all other candidates in this ward in the interest of fairness and impartiality. The town council is on record as saying that last year's precept increase was a one-off and we meant it. We moved to new premises, recruited staff (and had to by law to build up cash reserves) and bought a computer system from Herts County Council. One-off costs that will not be there next year. However, we have all been forced to pay £10,000 for the pointless HELP (Help Eliminate Letchworth Parish Council) referendum - pointless because they now admit they knew all along it could not lead to the abolition of the council.
But we have now found out that it is all part of a political campaign. Now taxpayers may have to fork out £10,000 for a by-election, so they can attend the last three meetings of council before elections take place next year. HELP constantly supported the Heritage Foundation - some call them their 'political wing' - they try to mislead and scare people with made-up talk of a 1,000% rise in council tax.
Meanwhile the Foundation, which they admire and praise, are actually suing the town because they say there should not have been any discussion about whether the Foundation should have been reformed in the referendum HELP started!
The hapless HELP campaigners meanwhile continue to cause trouble for the Foundation by referring to it as a public authority, just as the Foundation is in court arguing that it is not, that it is just a 'private company'. You could not make it up.
The High Court case is likely to cost £30,000 or more before it is finished. But HELP and their old boys' network could not care less about council tax costs, they just want to silence consultation and debate. They say that if elected they wouldn't do anything. I say given their track record up to now, that is wise advice.
Cllr PHILIP ROSS
SIR - Once again the spectre of HELP - what an original acronym - raises its head enough to warrant a front page story for this area.
Despite only receiving about 10 per cent of the eligible vote of Letchworth's population involving the cost of such election, it feels it has a mandate to dissolve the town council, which is debatable under the way it was set up.
HELP might succeed in filling the town council with its own people, just as it has accused the current town council but if the council still exists in law, what can it do except make a mockery of the law?
Also, what is to stop the current town councillors from repeating the operation when election time re-occurs? Surely the town council acts as the people's voice to keep the Heritage Foundation in check seeing some of the proposals for the town centre.
Letchworth Garden City
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Comet strives to be impartial on all matters. We will of course publish details of all candidates in any by-election, but only one was named because at the time of going to press we were only made aware of one person who wished to stand. We will of course publicise all those nominated when full details are known.