Responding to a letter written by Rosie Cooper MP, the Leader of West Lancashire District Council (WLDC), Councillor Geoff Roberts has said NO to a request asking him to allow local residents and campaigners to present public petitions and address meetings of the Full Council on important local issues. Labour Group Councillors Mary Whitby and Terry Rice now intend to put a motion to council on the issue.
Rosie said: “Recently there has been considerable anger expressed by local residents who feel they are not able to let the council know directly, how they feel about decisions being made by WLDC which affects them, their families and the local community. I feel it is important they are given this opportunity to speak directly to those people who are making the decisions. Sadly the Council leader doesn’t agree with me, what is he afraid of?”.
In her letter Rosie requested that the Council Leader consider allowing petitioners to address the full Council for 3-4 minutes. This address would of course relate to some important issue which would have been supported by a set number of signatures.
Local communities have expressed widespread opposition to the recent announcement that rents offices in Ormskirk and Skelmersdale would be closed in June 2008 despite many people still relying on these services.
There is also considerable local concern surrounding the future of Firbeck and Findon and how the demolition proposals as part of the Skelmersdale Vision Project will affect the future of this community. This action-group has now written to the Prime Minister as they don’t believe their voice is being heard by the Tory Controlled District Council.
Rosie added: “West Lancs residents need to know that they are being consulted, and involved in the decision making process on issues that will have a direct impact on them and their lives.
Other local authorities allow members of the public to present petitions to council in this way, which is a really good means of re-invigorating interest in local democracy.”