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Brighton & Hove City Council by Steve



Brighton and Hove City Council by Steve

I happened to be watching the Full Council Meeting this evening (24 March) via webcast (Yes, I am a bit of a nerd!). It was 10pm and there was an attempt to close the meeting.

Fortunately the attempt failed and I hope that enough of our local press & media representatives were still present to record the proceedings.

First, Councillor Louisa Greenbaum deserves our (the people of Brighton) congratulations in attempting to prevent the use of toxic pesticides in our City. It may be that she will succeed but will require vigilance from those of us that care.

Second, a debate introduced by Councillor Leo Littman. This was on the benefits of the European Union and, to be honest, I initially wondered how it had been allowed on the agenda and what was its relevance to our local council.

I was wrong! If anyone is interested in the principles, philosophy, and ethics of local councillors please look at this debate. It was inspirational to listen to Councillor Inkpen-Leissner expounding upon the real meaning of the EU and the values of peace and solidarity.

It was shameful to hear the xenophobic, and “little Englander” comments from Councillor Tom Bewick who expressed views to the right of UKIP.

Some councillors made contributions more concerned with the internal politics of their own party that what they perceived as the interests of the people of Brighton and Hove and Councillor Tracy Hill possibly made the most accurate contribution in terms of reflecting the views and interests of local citizens.

The debate is well worth watching/listening to and thanks must go to Leo Littman for initiating the debate. From a moderate right wing perspective Councillor Nick Taylor added to an informative and witty intervention early in the Council Debate and marked himself out as a local “political heavyweight” for the future.

At the end of the debate it was emphasised by Councillors Littman and Green that it was a question of Civic Leadership. The debate persuaded me this was right.

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  1. I reject entirely the accusation that my desire to leave the EU has anything to do with racism or xenophobia.

    In fact, my speech to full council and other writings have made it clear that it is the democratic deficit that is at the heart of my concerns.

    I see the problem of free movement as part of the wider issue of the UK being forced into a political union the vast majority of British people do not want.I am married to an EU migrant.

    My children are dual EU nationals and I love Europe as a continent. To my core I am an internationalist and social democrat. I’ve been a member of the Labour Party for 25 years.

    But I dislike the undemocratic institutions of the European Union as they rob the British people of their right to self determination.Laws that we cannot legally repeal could result in the privatisation of our NHS, like the planned trade agreement with the USA, called TTIP.

    The problem with a lot of people on the hard Left, like those that support these Green party councillors, is that they can’t tolerate other people on the progressive Left, that have a strong belief in government by consent; as well as to defend our public services from the interference of unelected, unaccountable elites in Brussels and Strasbourg.We’ll see who wins the argument on June 23rd. That’s why the referendum is so important.

    Councillor Tom Bewick
    Lead Member, Children, Young People and Skills
    Labour and Co-operative Councillor for Westbourne Ward, Hove


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