📄 Council merger: where’s democracy?

From  Phil Munday
(Chair of St Faiths & Emsworth Labour Party)
To  Michael Wilson
(Council Leader)
22 September 2020

Dear Councillor Wilson,

I am writing to you as a resident of Havant of over 40 years to express my grave concern at the lack of openness and democratic accountability being applied to the proposal to amalgamate the Council workforce of Havant and East Hampshire Borough Councils.

I watched the Council Cabinet meeting on line and was amazed at the lack of detailed discussion about such a far reaching proposal.

I understand that this proposal is being taken to full Council as part of a meeting with a very large agenda.

It seems that there will be no opportunity for the public to be even made aware of the plan before it goes to the next full Council meeting for approval.

The implications of this decision are far reaching and have not been fully spelt out.

Are there for example staff reductions linked to this proposal and if so what protection are we offering to our own Council employees?

Will this also mean that further services will be relocated to Petersfield?

There are certainly concerns amongst residents I spoke to about the current lack of responsiveness when contacting the Council.  My own experience of raising several local concerns by filling in forms on line and also by contacting the Council by telephone have not led to a single reply.  Surely this change can only make matters worse.

In effect we are losing local control of our services which are tailored to the needs of Havant residents.  Our needs as an urban community are in many ways significantly different from those of East Hants which is predominantly rural.

Ultimately the issue is a matter of democracy.

There has been no open discussion from any members of the council about this proposal and very little opportunity for residents to express their views on such an important matter.

I urge you to avoid rushing this change through and to provide residents with more opportunity to discuss the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Munday

Click here for our article with the latest updates on this issue.

Click here for Phil’s deputation to the full council.

Click here to see other correspondence.