Reasons for poll are unclear

SIR - The poll will ask whether you agree that Letchworth Garden City Council has proved incapable of justifying its cost and should be dissolved . This is real grassroots democracy in action using a little known but well established provision in the 197

SIR - The poll will ask whether you agree that 'Letchworth Garden City Council has proved incapable of justifying its cost and should be dissolved'. This is real grassroots democracy in action using a little known but well established provision in the 1972 Local Government Act.

At the parish meeting Mr Jury proposed the question, stating: ''This is not about politics, not about money, not about behaviour, not about a chain of office for the Mayor'', all topics that he and his group have complained about in numerous letters to The Comet.

Political: ''the science or art of civil government" - how we run things - so it is "not about that''.

Money: In spite of several speakers including Mr Jury speaking for much of their time about the cost of the council to them personally (not a mention of anyone else) and the massive rise from £16 per year to £49 for 2008/9 (band D), it is ''not about that''. (Contradicting the very question he was proposing - not very clear, is it?)


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Behaviour: More time was spent recounting the shortcomings of how the council and one councillor in particular have conducted themselves (all dealt with by proper procedure) - but it is ''not about that''.

A chain of office for the Mayor: the same - one of the points repeated several times but it is ''not about that''.

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So, it is not about the democratic structure of the town nor any of the other things his group have complained about!

There was vague reference to "we (his group, the town?) were alright before with the Heritage Foundation (the landlord of the main estate of Letchworth) and NHDC'' adding a wish for those two bodies to start working better with each other - but basically things were fine before, thank you.

When asked how many meetings of the council he had been to - all meetings are public and properly minuted - Mr Jury replied, 'one'. He added there was no point in attending council meetings because they were 'a waste of time'. The one he had attended along with several fellow residents was just two days before the parish meeting', that is, nearly two weeks after petitioning for the council's dissolution. Now most of us complete our research before reaching conclusions but Mr Jury, as is his right, clearly has his own methods. So what can one conclude?

I did wonder, listening to them, whether there was some deep personal issue involved but again that's not really a reason to evoke scrapping a whole council rather than the councillors in it, especially when elections, in which the town can again decide who it wants on its council, are not that far off.

We have been told what it is ''not'', so what is it that is so serious and pressing to Mr Jury and his group that another poll must be held just three years after the town voted to have a Letchworth council and then elected that council?

MICK BEE

Letchworth Garden City

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