20 Apr 2012

Outrageous proposal to charge for giving out leaflets

From: Peter Murry
 Sent: 20 April 2012
 To: cllr.javaid.ashraf@brent.gov.uk, cllr.jack.beck@brent.gov.uk, cllr.alison.hopkins@brent.gov.uk
 Cc: cllr.ann.john@brent.gov.uk

Subject: Outrageous proposal to charge for giving out leaflets

 Dear Councillors,

 I am writing to you as my ward councilors and copying this email to Cllr Ann John as leader of the Council because I learned that you intend to discuss on Monday a proposal to charge £175 for a license to give out leaflets in the main shopping areas of the borough with a further charge of £75 a day. This proposal, if passed, would drastically curtail freedom of speech, especially by those least well resourced who are often the very people who most need to exercise the right to publicly communicate their causes to other people.

 Apparently, political parties, charities and religious groups will be exempted, but I often give out leaflets for bodies which do not fit any of these categories like the Campaign Against Climate Change, or local campaigns on such issues as Brent Cross redevelopment proposals, Neasden pollution or the building of an Incinerator at Heathrow which might pollute Brent. The proposed charges for leafleting would in effect be a gag on such protest.

 The editor of the Kilburn and Brent Times recognises the threat to democracy posed by your proposal, I hope that you will see this too and that someone will be allowed to speak at Monday's Council meeting to oppose this misguided idea.

 Yours, Peter Murry
Dollis Hill Ward constituent,
Secretary Brent Green Party,
Committee member Brent Campaign Against Climate Change.

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