It is 16 years since less than 20% of the electors of Lewisham turned out to vote by a very slim majority of 908 to support Tony Blair’s vision of all-powerful US style mayors taking power in towns and boroughs across Britain. Steve Bullock was elected in 2002 and councillors ceased to have any decision-making role on policies.
Now we have a chance to return to the committee system if we can trigger a new referendum next May at the same time as the council and mayoral elections are due. To do this we need nearly 10,000 electors to sign a paper petition and this campaign is to ensure that we get those signatures before Christmas 2017.
The local government branch of Unite called a meeting last March which brought together activists from the Labour Party, People Before Profit, TUSC, Green Party, Momentum, Lewisham Liberal Democrats, Save Beckenham Place Park and Millwall Community to meet Peter Latham, author of policypress.co.uk/who-stole-the-town-hall and decide what to do. The meeting agreed to press for abolition of the system and this campaign is a result of that.
Please download the petition form, print out a few copies and ask your neighbours and friends to sign. It is only for residents of Lewisham to sign and only people on the electoral role will count towards the required target. You do not need people to fill in their electoral number – that is for admin use.
There is also an online petition at: tinyurl.com/BringBackDemocracy but those signatures will not count towards the target – it is a way of spreading the word and we will call on people who have signed the online version to ask them to sign the paper one.
There is a facebook event at Facebook.com/events/524091944589277/ Please tick “Going” to be kept in touch with developments.
To get a copy of the petition emailed to you just send an email to: HELP@BringBackDemocracy.org.uk