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We must work together to stall Welsh Labour Government’s undemocratic plans

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are today calling for opposition parties to unite and vote for an annulment motion that would stop the Welsh Government’s plans to delay elections in Anglesey.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have tabled an ‘annulment motion’ to the Order that delays the elections in Anglesey. This is the legal mechanism available to the Assembly to call in pieces of secondary legislation which the Assembly doesn’t ordinarily get to vote for.

Last year the Welsh Labour Government gave itself, despite Welsh Liberal Democrat opposition, sweeping powers to merge or amalgamate councils with minimum debate, consultation and virtually no scrutiny. Since then, Anglesey Council has been taken over by an intervention board with the Minister recently announcing that elections on the island would be delayed until 2013.

Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Local Government, said:

“Delaying elections in Anglesey is just another example of Labour’s lack of respect for the democratic process. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will not let Labour stampede over democracy so easily. That is why we have taken the radical step of tabling an ‘annulment motion’. We support the need for improvements in the way the Council is run but the best way to achieve this is through democratic renewal.

“The unelected Anglesey Commissioners have, rather predictably, issued Anglesey with the highest council tax rise in Wales and England. Despite the huge cuts the Commissioners are planning and the far reaching consequences these cuts will have, the people of Anglesey will be given no say at all over these changes – as a Welsh Liberal Democrat, I find this very worrying.”

Aled Roberts, Assembly Member for North Wales, added:

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats have tabled this annulment motion for debate today because we believe it is completely unacceptable for elections in Anglesey to be delayed for yet another year. If any Council is in need of a fresh electoral mandate, it is Anglesey.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are doing all we can to stand up for democracy in Wales and I hope that other parties will join us in doing so. In the past the Welsh Labour Government could rely on support from Plaid Cymru on this issue, I would hope that one of Leanne Wood’s first actions as leader will be to vote against the Welsh Labour Government’s undemocratic plans.”

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