“Council resolves to write to Government to volunteer Derby as a pilot area for photo ID to be shown by all voters at polling stations at the next Local Government elections in 2018.”
Full details are in a previous article “Derby City Council Labour Group vote against measures to reduce electoral fraud”
At the time, this seemed to be a common sense move and it was expected to be voted through unanimously – except that the Labour Group, instructed by Cllr Banwait, voted against it. It was not passed. No reasons were given during the debate . One might conclude that, as the first elections at which the new measures would be piloted will be in May 2018 ( there are no local elections in Derby before then), and these will be critical for the Labour Group, and for Cllr Banwait, personally, ( he is up for re-election) that tighter rules might be considered to be a disadvantage.
Unperturbed by this outcome, Cllr Skelton contacted her fellow Opposition Leaders on the Council – Cllr Matthew Holmes ( Conservative) and Cllr Alan Graves (UKIP) and agreed that they would write direct to Sir Eric Pickles. In the letter they concluded by saying that:
” We agree with the Electoral Commission in their assessment of Derby as being one of the 18 areas at higher risk of electoral fraud. As councillors it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to reduce that risk. To that end we would ask that the Government does choose Derby to be a pilot area for voter photo ID at polling stations.
We would be grateful if you could make the relevant people in Government aware of the contents of this letter.”
In the Cabinet Office response to Sir Eric Pickles’ report issued on 27 December 2017, Derby was confirmed as one of the pilot cities. (NB: The report also addresses options for obtaining ID in the event that the person does not have a passport , or driving licence.)
This will no doubt provoke Cllr Banwait’s anger, after having lost the vote to change the electoral cycle, and now having these measures imposed upon him, following the intervention of the Opposition Leaders. He will begin to feel that his leadership is slipping away from him.
This is a refreshing example of where the right action has been taken in the face of nefarious politicking. This improvement in local democracy can only be good for Derby.
Categories: Derby City Council