JON BIGGER has tried to lobby his MP about the Gagging Bill. Banned from “Sir” Tricky Dicky Ottaway’s regular surgery, now he finds the old expenses claimer is not even bothering to offer a reasoned response to letters
Last week, I wrote an account on my blog about how, together with a group of other constituents, I’d tried to hand a petition to Croydon South’s MP, Richard Ottaway.
The petition concerned the Gagging Bill, or to give it its full title, The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill. It has become known as the Gagging Bill because people fear it will stifle political debate and curtail trades union and charities activities in the run-up to elections.
The petition was due to be delivered by a very small band of campaigners, most of whom are pensioners. But rather than being greeted warmly by our elected representative and allowed into his office, instead Ottaway had us greeted by the police and we were left out in the cold and on the pavement. This story was picked up by Inside Croydon and followed up by the national press.
I wrote to Ottaway in advance of the Bill being debated in the House of Commons. I was hoping that if he wouldn’t meet with me and others to hear our concerns on the issue, he would perhaps give it careful consideration and take up our concerns.
I received an email from his office on Friday. But rather than this detailing any form of answer, it simply told me to look at his website for more information.
Thank you for your recent campaign communication. Due to the high volume of correspondence I regret I am not able to send a personal reply. However, a response to your particular campaign can be viewed on my website at http://www.richardottaway.com On the Home page click on ‘Campaign Responses’ and follow the link.
The Rt Hon Sir Richard Ottaway MP
Ottaway voted against improvements to the Bill by simply following his Conservative party line.
He clearly disagrees with the concerns of campaign groups, but he has totally failed to explain why – not even the long update on his website helps in any meaningful way.
The Bill is now heading to the House of Lords on Tuesday, but in the meantime people living in Croydon South have not had their concerns answered and their MP continues to ignore opportunities to engage with them properly, despite admitting that he has had a high volume of correspondence on the issue.
- I might have been murdered, claims Croydon MP Ottaway
- Right? Honourable? Ottaway’s expenses easily forgotten
- Ottaway, expenses, and a lack of transparency and openness
Coming to Croydon
- Edward Keszkiewicz art exhibition, Jan 21-Feb 1
- STDLCC Screening: Winter Nomads, Jan 27
- Lake Conan Doyle re-naming ceremony, Feb 1
- Give and Take Day, Surrey Street, Feb 1
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Feb 3
- Babylon at the Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 4-6
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Mark Steel at Ashcroft Theatre, Feb 12
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Mr Pooter comes to Croydon, Feb 20-22
- Stop the Incinerator fund-raiser, Feb 24
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Mar 3
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 20
- Croydon Half-marathon, Mar 30
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