CoH takes quango fight to court
The Corporation of Hamilton launched a legal battle yesterday to stop the Government turning it into an unelected quango.
The Corporation took action in the courts a day before the Senate is expected to vote on the Municipalities Reform Act — designed to end a combined total of almost 450 years of local democracy in Hamilton and St George.
Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, said the legal action was not only focused on the Municipalities Reform Act, but on a series of Acts since 2010 that he insisted were “unconstitutional”.
He said the laws had diluted the rights of the two local authorities, as well as the rights of the people.
Mr Gosling held out an olive branch to central government.
He said: “We feel there is an opportunity for Government and the Corporation to work together to find a common ground.”
Mr Gosling added that both Government and the Corporation of Hamilton could work together to improve services in the capital.
A combination of the three independent senators and the three Opposition members of the Upper House from the One Bermuda Alliance could outvote the five-strong Progressive Labour Party government and delay the legislation for a year
After that, the House of Assembly could push the Act through.
The five Government senators are expected to toe the party line and the three senators of the from the OBA are likely to vote against the proposed law.
The final decision will rest with the three independent senators. James Jardine, an independent, declined to comment before the vote and Joan Dillas-Wright, the senate president, also refused to comment.
Michelle Simmons, the other independent, could not be contacted.