Tonight the Councillors of Wokingham Borough Council met to debate a single, fundamental issue, democracy.

The question debated was how all residents should elect councillors going forward. The options were to stay with electing 1/3rd of our councillors a year for 3 out of 4 years, or move to what is called ‘All-Out’ elections once every four years.

A consultation of residents, published as part of the council papers, favoured changing to ‘All-Out’ elections. This is also how we elect our Town Councillors.

Despite the clear desire to have ‘All-Out’ elections, the Liberal led Coalition ignored the will of the residents and voted to maintain elections by 1/3rd.

During my time as a councillor I have lost count of the number of times the Liberals accused the previous Conservative leading group of ignoring consultations, even though we weren’t. Tonight, debating their first consultation while leading the council, they have done EXACTLY THAT.

Liberal Democrats, and the rest of their coalition ignored Democracy, plain and simple.

To make matters worse, following the meeting one of their members complained to the leader of the Conservative Group about my speech. Apparently she objected to my use of the word ‘God’ in my speech. I was quoting a famous Latin phrase, ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’ in my speech advocating moving to ‘All-out’ elections.

Rightly, the leader of my group pointed out that I have a right to freedom of speech in the council chamber and can quote anyone I want. To deny anyone freedom of speech, particularly in a democratic debate is ‘the start of a slippery slope to the Nazi’s’, as Cllr Jorgensen pointed out.

My view is that, to try and deny me my freedom of speech is neither Liberal nor is it Democratic.

Un-Liberal, Un-democratic all in one night.

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