I FIND much to agree with in Mr Cookson’s letter (Express September 29) regarding the lack of investment in Pontefract and all the Five Towns and their gradual decline in favour of the ‘Wakefield first’ principle seemingly adopted by Wakefield Council. However, I am not as confident as Mr Cookson that a town council for Pontefract would do much to address this imbalance.
Normanton, Ackworth, Badsworth, Darrington, Featherstone and Hemsworth all have town or parish councils and they don’t seem to have fared any better than Pontefract as a result, they just pay more council tax!
But it is not whether we in Pontefract have a town/parish council or not that causes me to oppose Sir Bill O’Brien, but his continued attempts to change both the law and the democratic process.
To remind us of the course of events, Pontefract Forward organised a street petition to garner support for the proposal that Pontefract should have a town council and obtained 2,304 signatures, fractionally more than ten per cent of the electorate, which thus required Wakefield Council by law to carry out a community governance review.
This took the form of a two-stage referendum of the electorate resulting in a vote of 2,066 in favour of the plan and 3,355 people against.
What Sir Bill now seeks is to have the 2,304 signatures on the petition counted as ‘yes’ votes, ignoring the 20,342 members of the electorate who didn’t sign the and were not given the opportunity of expressing their dissent!
Sir Bill wants the ‘yes’ votes counted twice and I cannot conceive how he can consider this fair and democratic.
To quote a well-known phrase, “there are none so deaf as those who will not hear.”
English men and women have made over centuries for the principle of one man or women one vote!
ERIC A JACKSON