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South Gloucestershire Councillors say YES!

by Claire Young on 22 October, 2010

On Wednesday night, South Gloucestershire Council voted to support a change in the voting system.  In a lengthy debate, amendments seeking to undermine the proposal were put first by Labour and then by Conservatives. Cllr Peter Tyzack argued the case for a fairer voting system and that the Council should be proactive in encouraging people to take part and vote.

Cllr Tyzack said, “The Labour amendment sought to turn the debate on to other issues and so was rejected, we also resisted the Conservative amendment, which tried to withdraw council’s support. We don’t care how this will affect the main parties we just want to make the system fairer for the voter. In the case of the Conservatives amendment, they seem to have little idea about fairness or true democracy as they just want to protect a system which favours them not the other 26 or so political parties.”

He also commented, “There are a number of councillors wearing the purple or mauve colours of Emeline Pankhurst and the universal suffrage movement.  Whilst recognising that for some it may be no more than just a fashionable colour, I believe that it is appropriate that we follow the principles of that movement and continue to promote fairness in our future elections.”

After the meeting Peter Tyzack said ‘In the case of Labour they were clearly more interested in keeping the unfair constituency boundaries which mean that not everyone’s vote counts for the same. We firmly believe that one person one vote should mean just that and that one vote should count the same whether cast in Filton & Bradley Stoke or in Thornbury and Yate.”

As a result of the decision it is now the policy of SGC to ‘support moves to change our parliamentary voting system, which will see South Gloucestershire’s Members of Parliament elected under a fairer system’.  And for the Council’s Returning Officer ‘to take steps to promote participation in the Referendum’.

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