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People's Vote - Boroughs - and now for the City itself
02 Nov, 2018

Newsletter 2 November 2018

Dear Member or Supporter

Roll of Honour

Roll of Honour - Gold: for local authorities that have come out for a People's Vote on any deal/ a bad deal and normally 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 MertonMayor of London, LB Tower Hamlets, LB Lewisham, LB Lambeth, LB Waltham Forest, LB Hounslow*

* Explicit Remain option not formally part of resolution

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


Sadly not all campaigns have been successful. Two boroughs have rejected a call for a People's Vote: Barnet and Bromley.


Latest News

Congratulations to LB Hounslow - the latest borough to have come out in favour of a People's Vote. No detailed minutes yet (they will be published here) - just two tweets here and here. The motion as proposed by Cllr Salman Shaheen started "Wishes to formally add its voice to those calling for a public ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal or lack thereof"; and called on the Council to write to Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. LB Hounslow go onto our Gold Roll of Honour adding to the momentum for a People's Vote.

We await news of the debate on 31 October in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. When available the minutes will be published here.


Active Campaigns in the Boroughs

Please write to your councillors (model letter in the blog) in these Boroughs where we know that a People's Vote motion is being promoted for consideration: 

  • LB Brent - Labour Group considering which motions to discuss at 26 November council; 
  • LB Camden - motion will be tabled for 12 November Council. Last time the motion could not be discussed due to lack of time; Labour group then supported a People's Vote with Remain as option but only if there was no general election. So please write to ask them to drop that pre-condition.  The local paper Ham & High published an edited version of a new letter from L4E member Michael Romberg. A Liberal Democrat rally in support of a People's Vote in any event will be held outside the Crowndale Centre, Eversholt Street, NW1 at 18.00; all anti-Brexit campaigners welcome;
  • LB Hackney - Directly elected Mayor considering response to question by L4E member (Council meetings 31 October and 23 January); 
  • RB Kingston upon Thames - we are hoping that a motion will be tabled at the State of the Borough debate on Brexit on 13 November or the 11 December council. An L4E Member is asking a public question on 13 November - please support him;
  • LB Islington - especially Islington! - where members are launching a second attempt to persuade the ruling Labour group to come out for a People's Vote (Council meeting 6 December);
  • LB Redbridge  - Labour group considering its position before Council on 22 November following an initiative taken by an L4E member in a ward Labour meeting;
  • LB Southwark - hopes for a debate in full council on 28 November. 

Please also write to your ward councillors in these Boroughs. As far as we know, they have not yet backed the People's Vote and there is no active consideration of doing so (all boroughs voted Remain in 2016 except where stated; dates of full council meetings to January 2019): 

  • Conservative controlled: Hillingdon (Voted Leave in 2016, probably* now Remain; Council meetings 22 November & 17 January), Kensington & Chelsea (Council meeting 5 December & 23 January), Wandsworth (Council meeting 5 December) and Westminster (Not on the agenda for the Council meeting 7 November; next is 23 January)
  • Labour controlled: Barking & Dagenham (voted Leave 2016; opinion* now unclear; Assembly meetings 21 November & 30 January), Croydon (Council meeting 3 December & 28 January), Enfield (Council meetings 21 November & 30 January), Harrow (ruling Labour group have no plan for a motion; Council meeting 29 November), Newham (Council meetings 26 November & 10 December)
  • Liberal Democrat controlled: Sutton (voted Leave 2016; probably* now Remain; Council meetings 12 November & 28 January)
  • No overall control (Conservatives largest group): Havering (Voted Leave in 2016, probably* still Leave; Council meetings 21 November & 23 January)
There is no point in writing to Barnet and Bromley (voted against) or Bexley (no realistic prospect of a debate before April)

*Assessment of present status is based on Best for Britain's constituency level analysis of polling, August 2018


Do you live or work in the City?

The City of London Corporation - responsible for the Square Mile - has not come out for a People's Vote. London4Europe wrote to the Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee, the nearest the City has to a Leader of the Council, Catherine McGuinness. She confirmed that there was no plan for such a motion to be debated.

As with all local authorities it is only electors' views that really count. The City of London Corporation has an unusual voting system. Not only may residents vote. But certain businesses have voting rights for some of their employees. I suggest that anyone who lives, works or studies in the City or who has some other real connexion should feel entitled to write to their ward Alderman and Common Councilmen. In the City elected officials are not normally overtly associated with a political party.

The model letter is here - do explain what your connexion to the City is if it is not obviously your home; and adapt the terminology - you should refer to Members rather than Councillors, and the decision-making body is the Court of Common Council. You can use this page on the City website to find your Members or use Writetothem with the relevant City postcode. 

There are Common Council meetings set for: 6 December 2018 and 10 January 2019.


How to Campaign

The sooner that you can get your Council to debate a motion the better to keep up momentum. However, the timing of the Meaningful Vote in Parliament is slipping from November to December/ January. So even if the earliest meeting at which you could obtain a debate in full Council is not until January it would still be worth campaigning, though better now as January and especially late January might well be too late. Remember that motions normally need to be listed at least one week before Council meetings, and that party groups decide voting in policy in meetings up to 2 weeks before the Council meeting.

If the next Council meeting is not until mid January or later you could ask that the Cabinet (Directly Elected Mayor in the case of Hackney and Newham) issue a formal public declaration on behalf of the Council which should be endorsed by the full Council and the next meeting.

London4Europe has written to the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat Group leaders/ directly elected Mayors on each council that has yet to take a decision. That might prompt some action. But it is really only constituents' views that count. Five easy actions that you can take are:
  1. write to your ward councillors (model letter in the blog), the leader of the council and the leaders of the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups
  2. write to your local newspaper - an under-utilised resource - you can take inspiration from the model letter to councillors in the blog or the letter in the Camden section above (please send us links to published letters) 
  3. 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 (London4Europe have written to selected MPs, but it is only constituents' letters that receive real attention)
  4. ask your friends and neighbours to follow steps 1 - 3
  5. 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
  • 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 (Hackney & 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