Newsletter - 12 April 2019
Dear Member or Supporter
Latest News - Summary
The Brexit extension to end October means that there is - just - time for a referendum. It also means that there is again a point in campaigning for local borough councils to pass resolutions calling for a referendum with the option to Remain (People's Vote). I would invite you to write to your councillor especially if you live in Barking & Dagenham, Croydon, Enfield, Harrow, Hillingdon, RBKC and Newham (also to the directly elected Mayor). Councillors respond to their electors - they need to know that you wish them to address national issues that impact on local communities.
You may think that since these councils have not yet considered or passed resolutions that they are stony ground. You are probably right. But with the national situation so fluid it opens up possibilities, and with the risks so high the need to campaign for a People's Vote is greater.
As you appreciate, it takes a few weeks for councillors to organise a motion, obtain support from their colleagues and set it down on the order paper. So actions that we take now will bring benefits in the meetings in May and June. I hope therefore that you will - again in some cases; sorry - write to your councillors. A model letter to help to get you started is in the blog.
Latest News - Detail
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There have been two attempts by the sole Liberal Democrat Councillor Linda Wade and the leader of the minority Labour Group Councillor Robert Atkinson to bring a motion for discussion. On both occasions, other council business was allowed to overrun, preventing the motion being heard. The ruling Conservative group is of course split on the question. But the process of bringing the resolution led the Labour group to coalesce around a referendum and MP and councillor Emma Dent Coade to express her unequivocal support.
The motion will again be on the agenda at the meeting on 24 April. But it is in third place, so again at risk of being talked out. I would encourage you therefore to write not only to your own councillor but also to the Mayor (Councillor Marie-Therese Rossi) and Deputy Mayor (Councillor Mohammed Bakhtiar), Leader of the Council (Councillor Elizabeth Campbell) and Conservative Whip (Councillor Gerard Hargreaves) urging them to ensure that the debate is actually held. A model letter for you to adapt and personalise is in our blog. You can also turn up on the evening and support the motion from the public gallery.
Roll of Honour
There are 32 boroughs, plus the City, so 33 authorities. 14 - just under half - have already come out directly for a referendum (People's Vote), as have the Mayor and the London Assembly. They are listed in the Gold roll:
Gold: for local authorities that have come out for a People's Vote on any deal/ a bad deal and normally explicitly with a Remain option: LB Hammersmith & Fulham, LB Ealing* (position re-affirmed by the leader after the local elections), London Assembly*, LB Richmond upon Thames, LB Merton, Mayor of London, LB Tower Hamlets, LB Lewisham, LB Lambeth, LB Waltham Forest, LB Hounslow*, RB Greenwich*, LB Camden, RB Kingston-upon-Thames, LB Redbridge, LB Brent
* Explicit Remain option not formally part of resolution
Silver: For the local authorities that have come out for all options to be on the table including a public vote if there is no general election. Remain should be an option in that public vote: LB Southwark, LB Islington, LB Hackney.
Bronze: For the local authority that has come out for all options to be on the table including a public vote if there is no general election and with no commitment to Remain being an option: LB Haringey
Campaigns in the Boroughs
Please write to your councillors (model letter in the blog) in these Boroughs. (All boroughs voted Remain in 2016 except where stated; dates of full council meetings to August 2019):
- Conservative controlled: Hillingdon (Voted Leave in 2016, now Remain* - Council meetings 9 May (EU's Europe Day), 4 July) and Kensington & Chelsea (Council meetings 24 April, 22 May, 26 June & 24 July).
- Labour controlled: Barking & Dagenham (voted Leave 2016; now probably Remain*; Assembly meetings 15 May, 24 July), Croydon (Council meeting 20 May, 15 July), Enfield (Council meeting: 8 May - further meeting dates not yet set), Harrow (Council meeting: 16 May & 18 July), Newham (Council meeting: 15 April (no Brexit item on agenda), 16 May - further meeting dates not yet set; write to the directly elected mayor as well as your councillors).
- Liberal Democrat Controlled: Sutton (controlling Liberal Democrat group have called for a People's Vote, but no motion has been put to the Council. Meetings 29 April, 20 May, 22 July).
* Assessment of present status is based on Survation's borough level analysis of polling, November 2018 and more background here
How to Campaign
- write to your ward councillors (model letter in the blog), the leader of the council and the leaders of the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups
- write to your local newspaper - an under-utilised resource - you can take inspiration from the model letter to councillors in the blog (please send us links to your published letters)
- if your MP is a supporter of the People's Vote ask her/ him to call on the Council to come out for a People's Vote
- ask your friends and neighbours to follow steps 1 - 3
- tell us what you are doing and the progress made, e.g. commitments to table motions - E-mail: [email protected]
You can then take your campaign to a higher level in your Borough with these steps:
- get involved with your local EM branch or other pro-EU campaign organisation
- contact other Remain groups in the borough and ask them to mobilise their members
- meet your councillors, the leader of the council/ directly elected mayor (Newham) and the leaders of the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups
- ask a public question at a Council meeting - they will have a guide on their democracy pages
- launch a formal petition to the Council - they will have a guide on their democracy pages
- street campaigning with your EM local branch or other Remain organisation
And afterwards, please remember your thank-you and follow-through letters to councillors and in the local press.
The contents of this newsletter reflect the views of the author and not necessarily of London4Europe