THE NEWS breaking today in the media of a Postal Referendum likely to be held in the ‘early summer’ of 2014, asking people in (South West and Mid-Holderness) whether they want to be included in the administrative control of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, or the Hull City Council has already prompted Town Mayor Councillor John Dennis to make a clarion call to battle stations!
The proposal for a postal referendum, backed by the leadership of the East Riding Council, is almost certainly going to be supported by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council at its meeting in Beverley today.
The referendum proposal, is an amendment to a motion by Ward Councillor Ann Suggit calling upon the council to “resist attempts by Hull City Council to expand its administrative boundaries into the East Riding.”
Councillor Dennis told us: “I attended a meeting at County Hall with ERYC Leader, Steve Parnaby, Chief Executive Nigel Pearson and the other Ward Members for our area and those from Haltemprice, Brough etc, at which the referendum proposal was explained.
“My thoughts are that this initiative requires maximum backing of residents in this area if we are to frustrate the expansionist ambitions of our larger neighbour. I suspect not too many will wish to be part of a greater Hull, but getting people to actually respond to the referendum is the key to making the Hull City Council aware of how big a battle they face if they press on with their proposal.
“Your readers may recall my fronting of the HOTI action group a few years ago. Whilst HOTI led the campaign it came down to ‘people power’ to see off the Saltend mega-Incinerator plan and we may need to call on that people power again.
“Why does a large city like Hull think it is acceptable to impose itself upon its unwilling neighbours especially rural areas such as this? It was only as recently as September 2011 that we were faced with a threat by the Boundaries Commission to incorporate the Parliamentary Constituency of South West Holderness into East Hull, much to the concern of all of the residents that I spoke to. I took their concerns and made a speech at the Public Enquiry at the City Hall, and, thankfully, the proposal was ditched. However it seems the City Fathers don’t give up easily either, so we will need to put a lot of energy into seeing them off again.
“To have any hope of success, the other ward members and I will be asking for assistance in our campaign. If any of your bloggers are prepared to help, can they please contact me.
“As the current Mayor I will be placing the matter before the next meeting of the Hedon Town Council, and as Ward Member will be spreading the word over the next few weeks to the nearby Parish Councils and to as many of our residents as possible.
“Of great concern to me is the possibility of an element of apathy which unfortunately often becomes apparent whenever people are required to actually make a response eg to turn out to vote, or to sign a petition. I see the need for a lot of door-knocking over the next few months, and bloggers’ help could prove invaluable.”
Those following local Hedon politics will know that the relationship between the two Conservative Ward Councillors John Dennis and Mike Bryan and Independent Councillor Ann Suggit has deteriorated since Councillor Suggit’s resignation from Hedon Town Council last November 2013. However, on the issue of the expansion of Hull City Council’s boundaries, all three Ward Councillors seem united.
Our representatives oppose becoming part of a Greater Hull, but what do local residents think?
So what would the views of people in Hedon be in any referendum? Is it as Councillor Dennis maintains that the overwhelming majority of people in Hedon would oppose the town’s incorporation into the administrative control of Hull? Or is the lure of drawing in greater investment into an enlarged city region, resulting in more jobs, greater wealth and more political clout at Government level enough to sway voters to consider the option of ‘Hedon (part of greater Hull)’?
We are opening a straw poll today and ask Hedon residents to give us their quick opinions: