'Banana republic' ban on Falmouth petition signing against council's privatisation plan (From Falmouth Packet)
'Banana republic' ban on Falmouth petition signing against council's privatisation plan
One of the organisers of a bid by Labour Party members in Falmouth to collect signatures for the cross party petition opposing the privatisation of Cornwall Council services has hit out at a decision to stop them.
Calling the decision, which organisers claim followed a conversation with the Falmouth town clerk, like something from a "banana republic rather than Cornwall", Cornwall Labour chair and Falmouth resident Candy Atherton said it smacked of some petty bureaucrat in County Hall wanting to stop politicians and political parties talking to people.
The petition was to be at The Moor on Saturday between 2 - 4pm.
Last week, despite the majority of councillors voting against the proposal. the Conservative and Independent members who make up the leadership announced they would proceed regardless.
The majority of councillors, who oppose the policy, have launched a petition calling for the decision to be stopped until the majority of all councillors have voted to support.
Cornwall Labour chair and Falmouth resident Candy Atherton said they have now been told that the petition signing cannot go ahead.
She said: I am surprised and disappointed that the long tradition of political engagement in our town has been stopped. I have many pictures of successful stalls which my party have held on
The Moor and know that the local Labour Party have been regularly seen running stalls in the town for nearly a century.
"In the spirit of supporting the town the Falmouth Labour Party decided to apply for a stall and pay so as to be on the same basis as other stallholders. To be told we are not allowed is plain wrong. Democratic political parties are part of the community of a town.
"People say they never see politicians until elections well this is hardly surprising if they are banned from the centre of town where they can be challenged on their policies and held to account.
"In a democratic and pluralist society banning political parties rather smacks of some petty bureaucrat in County Hall wanting to stop politicians and political parties talking to people. Sounds like something from a banana republic rather than Cornwall."