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Petitions

Volume 705: debated on Wednesday 8 December 2021

South Warwickshire Mega-Council

I want to bring to the attention of the House the issue of the merging of local councils without due regard to the wishes of local residents. This issue is directly linked to proposals in my constituency along with many others to merge Warwick District Council with Stratford-on-Avon District Council. This petition complements that to Warwick District Council which has 1,050 signatures demanding that it establishes a citizens assembly to examine governance options before holding a referendum.

The petition states:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to make it a requirement for a range of options to be put to local residents in the form of a referendum in the event that local councillors propose any changes to local governing structures.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the proposal to merge Warwick and Stratford district councils will dilute local power; further that, if the proposal is approved, the number of councillors serving residents in south Warwickshire would be reduced from 80 to 60; further that residents need to feel more connected and less detached from political decision-making, and that could only be achieved if councils are more in touch with residents; further that Warwick District Council was prepared to stage a referendum to decide whether to adopt a climate change levy in Spring 2020 and so is open to referendums in theory; and further that before any decision is made, a citizens assembly should be set up to outline arguments for and against the merger and that this should be followed by a referendum on the final verdict.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to make it a requirement for a range of options to be put to local residents in the form of a referendum in the event that local councillors propose any changes to local governing structures.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P002702]

Death by dangerous driving

8.43 pm

On 29 August, Ghulam Nabi was walking to his job as a bus driver so as to donate his Sunday earnings—he worked on Sundays—to charity. Suddenly over a bridge sped a driver, Mr Raihan Ahmed, driving so fast that all the wheels of his vehicle were off the road. He hit Mr Nabi and killed him. Mr Ahmed was driving a stolen vehicle, without a licence and without insurance, yet was sentenced to just a couple of years. This is not justice. Some 1,300 people have signed a petition in similar terms tabled by my colleague, Councillor Majid Mahmood of Birmingham City Council.

The petition states:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to request that the Attorney General refer the unduly lenient sentence to the Court of Appeal.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that Raihan Ahmed caused death by dangerous driving, drove without a licence or insurance and failed to stop at the scene of the crime; notes that the actions of Raihan Ahmed led to the loss of Ghulam Nabi’s life; further that under his current sentence Ahmed could be out on the street in under two years whilst the family and community grieve for the rest of their lives; declares that a longer sentence will act as a greater deterrent to others.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to request that the Attorney General refer the unduly lenient sentence to the Court of Appeal.]

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002703]