Reader's letter: 'Council are resorting to reeling out the red tape' over Roy Chubby Brown petition

Hayley Madden who started the Roy Chubby Brown petition has now contacted fellow petitioners with the following information based on a reply she has received from Sheffield City Council.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 9:38 am
Supporters of Roy Chubby Brown protest at the decision to ban him from performing at Sheffield City Hall. Picture Scott Merrylees

“Not sure if you are aware, but under the council’s Petitions Scheme, at least 5,000 of the people who have signed petitions where the lead petitioner has requested a debate, must either live, work or study in Sheffield.

“Appreciate that this can sometimes be difficult and onerous but in order for us to arrange for the petition to be included, as a debate petition, on the agenda for the council meeting on October 6, we would need proof of this.

“Please, therefore, could you have a look, and send us the names and place names/postcodes showing that at least 5,000 of the 39,000 meet the above requirements. We would require this by noon tomorrow at the very latest.”

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To say that I am having extreme difficulty in phrasing my letter in a civil manner is putting it mildly when the SCC are now resorting to reeling out the red tape to try to sabotage a petition brought on behalf of 39,000 citizens by Hayley Madden.

How much lower can our councillors sink in the pit of political depravity?

To expect someone to contact and obtain personal details of 39,000 petitioners ‘by noon tomorrow’ – September 29, to ascertain if they reside, work or study in Sheffield – is ridiculous and impossible to achieve and OUR council knows this.

Their prevarication skill in this matter gives them great credit for all the wrong reasons.

With the massive public outcry over the unilateral banning of Roy Brown by Messrs Snelling, Fox and council cohorts – given commendable coverage by The Star and national media – I would have thought that our elected representatives would have realised that they have shot themselves in the foot in acting as they have.

They appear not to be able to grasp the fact that it was not the actual banning of Roy Brown’s show that caused this furore, but the fact that by doing so they were depriving the people of their democratic right to decide for themselves what they wish to support or not.

Rather than setting the lead petitioner an impossible task in collecting the information required ‘by noon tomorrow’, Terry Fox leader of the council and his colleagues should set an example to us all of their often self – published tenet of being open, honest and transparent with their electorate.

I am sure that if they wished to do so as a whole council they could vote on a motion to make an exception in this case and debate the issue without setting the lead petitioner an impossible task, with the perceived intent to deny yet again Sheffield citizens of their civil rights.

As an example of being open and transparent with the electorate I invite Councillor Fox to make a public statement via The Star in response to my letter – I am not holding my breath as to the outcome!

Cyril Olsen

Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5