UKIP Councillor John Newton's motion (in full below) tabled at the recent Breckland District full council meeting inviting fellow councillors to vote on the EU referendum issue, fell short when the Conservatives tabled an amended watered down motion; simply stating that the Council welcomed the opportunity for the people of Breckland to have a vote on the UK's membership of the EU. The amended motion, voted through by the majority party and supported by Labour, avoided the councillors revealing their personal position on this important issue.
Other councils view the EU referendum issue as above party politics and have held a full vote on the issue, including Havering, Bromley, Thurrock, Cambridgeshire CC and Portsmouth City Council, all voting in favour of leaving the EU.
SW Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss recently declared for the "Remain" campaign and the Tories in Breckland have simply followed the Party line. They have no independence and are putting Party considerations ahead of local and national interest. In Norfolk only Richard Bacon MP for South Norfolk and Sir Henry Bellingham MP for NW Norfolk have shown the courage to put conviction before career.
A recent poll held in February showed Swaffham to be the most Euro sceptic Town in Norfolk with 67% of those polled wanting to leave the EU. BDC are either out of sync with the population or have chosen to ignore public opinion.
Breckland residents deserve better from their councillors.
(This was published as a letter in the Thetford and Brandon Times).
Copy of Content of motion moved by UKIP Cllr. John Newton
(1) That this council notes;
a. The importance of the forthcoming referendum on the United Kingdoms membership of the European Union to every resident, business and organisation in Breckland;
b. That this council welcomes the in out referendum on our nation's membership of the EU, allowing the people an opportunity to vote on this important issue;
c. That in the ensuing negotiations the prime Minister identified some clear objectives covering matters such as immigration, welfare and sovereignty which could form part of a revised relationship if we were to remain in;
d. That unfortunately, due to continental intransigence the current "deal" offers little in terms of delivering a sustainable and fair welfare and immigration policy for the UK or the ability to repatriate powers back to this country;
e. That we also need to reduce unnecessary interference and bureaucracy from the EU, in order to successfully grow the Breckland economy.
(2) That this council therefore believes the Prime Ministers deal does not offer a good opportunity for Breckland's residents and businesses and that the United Kingdom would be better placed to grow and develop by leaving the European Union.