Monday, 28 February 2011

Torfaen councillor’s referendum motion ‘illegal’

A MOTION submitted for a Torfaen council meeting tomorrow was pulled as it breached an election law.

The motion, proposed by Fairwater councillor Jeff Rees, said: "Torfaen council supports full law-making powers within the devolved areas for the Welsh Assembly.

“This will speed up the democratic process in Wales and do away with the cumbersome process we currently have, for the benefit of both national and local government."

The motion would have been voted on just two days before the Referendum on Thursday but was pulled from the meeting's agenda after it was found to contravene part of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

[Cllr Haynes]  said she reiterated her concern to the legal and monitoring officer and specifically asked for the motion to be pulled but had no response.

A spokesman for Torfaen council said it took advice from the Electoral Commission and are satisfied the motion infringes election law so should not be allowed to proceed.

My comment: They shouldn't need last minute advice from the Electoral Commission if their monitoring officer was doing their job properly. The whole purpose of the monitoring officer is to ensure the council doesn't attempt to break the law in the first place. 

Read the full story from the source South Wales Argus

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