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Say ’No’ to national politics in the ARA

Strong support for the current, existing, ARA constitution in 3 out of the 3 meetings held so far.

Six Ashtead Independent Councillors attended the second of the consultation meetings, held on 19th July at the Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall, to consider more of the proposals that have come from ARA members as alternative proposals to the ARA proposed changes.

Councillor Chris Hunt, Leader of Ashtead Independents who has attended both of the consultation meetings available for all ARA members to attend held so far says "The clear view of the members who were present at both meetings has been that the present Constitution works well, and apart from some minor changes such as to reflect changes in technology and a need to define the roles and responsibilities of some of their officer holders, there was no wish for any fundamental changes."

"I also noted that all who spoke - those proposing alternative motions and those in the audience - made it clear that the ARA must not give support to national political parties. It was clear that the membership present values the links to the Ashtead Independents, which gives Ashtead a guaranteed voice on District Council committees, to the benefit of Ashtead as a whole."

"Concern was however clearly expressed that having a postal ballot on the Standing Committee proposals for changes meant that the voting choices needed to be clear and easy to understand, and the risk of having many questions which could result in varying decisions which did not follow each other needed to be avoided, and that if possible a single simple Yes or No style question was the favoured option by all present. It was pleasing to see that the ARA Standing Committee members present agreed with that."

Cllr Chris Hunt continues "It is clear that the new ARA working group looking at the motions in response to the Standing Committee proposed changes has made some progress to incorporate changes to their original proposals. For example they appear to have dropped the idea that membership should be of property addresses, rather than the residents themselves! I am grateful to them for this. It is however clear that the Standing Committee still proposes some fundamental changes which have been shown at the AGM in April and at the two more recent consultation meetings to be not supported by the membership present.

“Attending these consultation meetings has been really telling, to see just how much residents favour the present constitution of the Residents Association - not one member spoke in favour of the proposed changes. When the ballot comes to ARA members, I would ask that members take on board the fact that those who have attended these three meeting and considered the proposed changes in detail have all clearly felt there is, after all, no need for the fundamental changes being proposed," said Chris Hunt.


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