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6:00am Friday 10th August 2012 in Letters
Sir, – I’m at a loss to understand why Durham County Council, or anyone else, feels there is any problem with the result of the recent consultation.
This is the second time the respondents have indicated they are in favour of councils, for both Durham City and Newton Hall.
In the absence of a referendum, which the council chose not to hold, the wishes of the people should be respected.
It is interesting that in the most recent consultation, the alternative option, status quo, an unrepresentative “mayor” chosen by unelected “Trustees”, was not supported by the vast majority of households in the consultation.
This “fake” mayoralty must cease now, there is no mandate for it.
However, in the interests of real democracy, it is worth noting the actual percentage of responses in favour of the council for Durham City by ward: Framwellgate (61 per cent), St Nicholas and Elvet (61 per cent), Crossgate (58 per cent), Neville’s Cross N (56 per cent), Durham South (50 per cent) Neville’s Cross S (43 per cent), Gilesgate (39 per cent), Pelaw (22 per cent).
If the county council doesn’t feel it can accept the clear view of the majority, then take it down a level, and form a Durham Town Council from the wards that voted in favour, and leave the rest unparished.
No one who believes in democracy can possibly argue with that.
Finally, the new town council area should be removed from any charter arrangements, and free to determine their own representation. If the remainder of the old Durham City area want to carry on with a Mayor and pay for it, that is surely up to them.
Should the county council not feel able to form a council for either the whole Durham City area, or the restricted option above, then this is blatantly undemocratic, and deserves to be challenged by whatever means possible.