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Brixham parish Tesco poll is cancelled

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: February 28, 2012

Brixham Town Hall

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A CONTROVERSIAL parish poll on a proposed Tesco supermarket in Brixham has been cancelled.

The poll which had been called at a parish meeting on February 16 has been subjected to a challenge by two Brixham residents.

The challenge, which carries the threat of judicial review, was made to the procedure of calling the meeting, the method by which the question was raised at the meeting and the way at which the wording of the question was arrived at.

Due to this challenge the Returning Officer at Torbay Council has been asked to stop the poll from proceeding.

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The poll would have cost £10,000 and was supported by nine other electors who stood and gave out their names.

The poll would have been carried out on March 22.

Brixham councillor Mike Morey said: "While I am in the belief that the meeting was valid and am confident that the procedures carried out were correct, until the implications of this legal challenge have been resolved and a legal ruling on the interpretations of the wording of the act has been ascertained the validity of the meeting and its decision is in question.

"Therefore it would not be prudent to carry out the poll called for at the Parish meeting as this could be ruled as ultra vires. In view of this the Returning Officer has been requested to stop the poll."

Councillor Martyn Hodge said: "That the poll has to be cancelled at this point does not mean that another parish meeting could be called by six electors at any time or that another poll could be demanded at that or any subsequent parish meeting.

"The cost of a poll is not one that the Town Council wants to incur and as the result of a poll is not binding upon anyone there is good reason to doubt the worth of the legislation. But there it is and as it has been used previously in Brixham, it is only to be expected that now it is commonly known about it will be used again whenever people have an issue they want to raise."

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  • hichisson  |  February 29 2012, 9:45PM

    Should try again. They will be losing the people. We must have our say and keep Tesco out.

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  • reiwruwiou  |  February 29 2012, 12:58PM

    Yes, there were 9 named people at the meeting who called for the pole... but there were at least 100 who stood up and offered to put their names forward. As to the wording, a clear majority at the meeting rejected other suggested wording in favour of that put forward - it wasn't even a close vote. If it looks as though you can't win the election, declare it null and void - a popular move by despots across the world. How many times must a poll be called for? The longer this goes on the shabbier the "pro" lobby looks - vetoeing polls with procedural technicalities, shouting down people who legitimately stand up at the meeting to voice their concerns, Threats to ignore the result, refusal to attend (by Tesco) to defend their position, blatant massaging of statistics (such as use of terms like "full time equivilent jobs")... Bully boy tactics.

  • Nippie  |  February 28 2012, 8:05PM

    Whats the matter?..... afraid of losing, of seeing how many people are really against Tesco, of having to back down?

  • Peter_sims  |  February 28 2012, 4:58PM

    "Torbay Council has been asked to stop the poll from proceeding." Hooray. Now lets get building a new Tesco.