Speech delivered at the full Council meeting on 20th January 2005
Thank you, Mr Mayor, fellow members.
I have to agree that the Leader‘s stated recommendation to this Council to cease paying Medway Council taxpayers‘ money to the unelected assembly known as SEERA is exactly the kind of initiative we need to take. It is not only that, as caretakers of the tax money that comes into the council from our residents, we should obviously not be wasting any on avoidable non-essentials; there is also a strong matter of principle here.
It is not for outsiders—especially (but not only) unelected ones—to dictate any kind of purely local policy to elected local authorities, Mr Mayor.
We are the only ones elected by our residents to deal with their local issues; and even if sometimes an issue goes beyond our own boundaries, we are perfectly capable of dealing with cross-border matters in partnership with neighbouring local authorities or with whomever.
We never, but never, need outsiders to tell us our own business, Mr Mayor; and we certainly don‘t need additional layers of ever-fattening and ever more expensive government!
Thank you, Mr Mayor.
John M Ward (Councillor, Rochester South and Horsted)