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Gosling declines to comment on Government Bill to postpone municipal elections

Watching brief: Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton (File photograph)

The Mayor of Hamilton yesterday stayed tight-lipped over the Government’s decision to postpone elections for the island’s two municipalities for a year.

Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, said he could not comment until he had seen the legislation to put off the votes.

He added: “I’d like to read it and see how it’s worded, how it’s presented in Parliament.”

Mr Gosling said that he had met Wayne Furbert, the Cabinet Office minister, at the start of the week to discuss the controversial proposals to end local democracy when the announcement was that legislation to delay elections was going to be tabled.

But he added that City Hall was not given a preview of the Bill because it was “against legislative practice”.

Elections for councillors to represent the Corporations of Hamilton and St George were scheduled to be held in May.

Mr Furbert confirmed this week that elections would be postponed and that legislation to rubber stamp the delay would be tabled in the House of Assembly today.

City Hall has mounted a court challenge to government plans to abolish the municipalities, where representatives are elected, and turn them into unelected quangos.

Dwayne Caines, the chief executive of the Corporation of Hamilton, said: “Our No 1 priority is maintaining a democratically elected city council.

“This process, as we see it, seems to be that decisions are being made without full consultation from ratepayers, the residents and the public at large, who, in a democracy, are the most important people.

“The will of the people should drive this process.”

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Published February 18, 2022 at 7:52 am (Updated February 18, 2022 at 11:18 am)

Gosling declines to comment on Government Bill to postpone municipal elections

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