The Executive is asked to consider the motion on Proportional Representation that has been referred by County Council and make recommendations for consideration at the meeting of County Council on 22 February 2023.
Considered – A report of the Assistant Chief Executive (Legal and Democratic Services) presenting feedback on the motion on Proportional Representation referred by County Council at their meeting on 16 November 2022 and seeking a recommendation to the meeting of the County Council on 22 February 2023.
County Councillor David Chance introduced the report which provided an overview of the First-Past-The-Post system (FPTP) and the various forms of proportional representation (PR).
County Councillor Carl Les welcomed the public participants registered to speak on this item and invited each one to present their submission, as follows:
1. Mr Michael E. Chaloner, secretary to Richmond Constituency Green Party – 19 Spruce Gill Avenue, Aiskew, Bedale North Yorkshire DL8 1DN (attending in person)
“Looking at the diagram based on 2019 General Election we see how unfair the First Past the Post voting is to smaller political parties.
The Green Party had one MP, so they represented 866,000 voters while the SNP has only 26,000 per MP. No one should consider this true democracy.
If you support democracy you need to accept that the North Yorkshire Council should use a form of Proportional Representation for all elections.
It is not surprising that so many members of the British public have so little interest in politics while others turn to using extreme measures to get their opinions across.”
2. Ms Rosemary Livingstone – The Barn, Winksley, Ripon, North Yorkshire (attending in person)
“I wish to submit the following statement in support of
the NYCC Motion for Proportional Representation. I am speaking as a private citizen on behalf of my
family and friends.
There seems to be an existential angst amongst the population about the threats facing the County, the Country and the World. They feel these are not being dealt with adequately and they (the people) feel they are not being heard, and this is manifested in disillusionment with both local and national government.
As a consequence of this disillusionment there is a decline in the number of people voting in elections. It is not as though people can’t be bothered to vote- 12 million votes were cast in the TV series “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here”.
So let’s look at the voting outcomes in the last General Election in 2019 - across 8 parliamentary constituencies in North Yorkshire, including York:
· Conservatives polled 54% of all votes cast but won 7 out of 8 seats.
· Labour took 26% of the votes cast but only won 1 seat.
· 20% of voters gained no representation at all and indeed, probably never will if the system is not changed.
· So 45 % of all voters ended up with an MP they did not vote for with a massive under-representation for smaller minority parties relative to their vote share.
So let’s accept we have a problem. But there is a solution. The solution is a proper method of Proportional Representation when we have elections for ANY governing body.”
3. Mr Mark Harrison - 15 Garbutt ... view the full minutes text for item 181