Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Lansdown's MPs - breaking the line, or breaking the law?
After the extraordinary 'A City United' statement that Bristol's MPs were cajoled into signing by BCFC, Simon Cook and the Evening Post, at least two have been under pressure to explain the bit at the end: “Councillors have an important and difficult decision to make. We urge them to stand up for the views of the majority of residents and bring the stadium to Bristol”. After all, that's a direct call on councillors to put populism ahead of an honest assessment of the Village Green application. Which would, of course, be unlawful.
Now, both Stephen Willams (in comments on his blog) and Kerry McCarthy (in comments on this blog) have given assurances that they expect councillors to act within the law - i.e. to consider the village green application only on the evidence of public use, not on the potential of the land to provide a stadium. Neither MP has yet gone so far as to retract that final sentence, though - even though it appears to have been drafted for them by the football club!
Of course, that leaves the other signatories - Dawn Primarolo, Charlotte Leslie, Chris Skidmore, and Tessa Munt, still totally unapologetic about urging Bristol's councillors to defy the law when they come to decide the village green designation.