Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stamford votes yes to get no.

Stamford Mercury website reports that Stamfordians have voted against Stamford Vision's controversial Gateway project by a margin of nearly two to one (see my blog from Friday).

Of 14,897 people eligible to vote in the town, 3,242 visited polling booths with 2,050 opting against the project and 1,184 registering their approval - a majority of 866.

So that's clear then.

Well, of course not! Both South Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council are involved in the decision, so despite rejection, there'll be plenty still to argue about.

First there was the daft question. You had to vote 'yes' to reject the scheme and 'no' to accept it!

Then there's the poor turnout. Less than one in five of those eligible to vote bothered to take part. So those who don't like the result are already saying it was hardly a decisive rejection of the project.

And in any case, the result of a parish poll is not apparently legally binding.

If it's anything like some of the decisions on closing infant and junior schools, Lincolnshire County Council will totally ignore the voice of thousands of local protesters.

In this case, the reality of the county council's new mantra 'You Talk, We Listen' is proving 'You Talk, We Listen, then we'll Ignore You'.

The Executive Member responsible for Lincolnshire County Council's input was asked at Friday's full council meeting if Stamford result in favour of rejecting the project "two-to-one" would now mean the end of the project.

The Exec. Member thoughtfully replied that he'll be studying the result carefully before making an announcement!

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