MILNGAVIE Youth Parliament representative Ross Greer has slammed East Dunbartonshire Council’s decision to ban election placards on lamp-posts and council property.
He believes that Councillor Ashay Ghai’s motion, which was passed with the support of the Labour-Tory administration, has resulted in an important part of the election process disappearing from the streets of East Dunbartonshire.
The sixth year Bearsden Academy pupil said: “I have worked positively with Councillor Ghai in the past and I’m sure I will do in the future but in this case I am very disappointed at his, and the majority of his colleagues’, decision.
“We have seen a huge decrease in turnout at elections since the end of the Second World War but in recent years there has been a small recovery. Does the council really want to risk this by allowing what, to many people is the only sign that an election is coming, to disappear from our streets?
“I fear that the motivation behind this decision has more to do with a lack of willing volunteers amongst the parties that voted for the motion. It is hardly fair that, due to a lack of their own activists, these parties have chosen to remove a key aspect of campaigning from all. Comparing election placards to illegal fly-posting is a shocking manipulation of the facts. Political parties have, until now, had the legal right to display their placards in East Dunbartonshire within a reasonable set of regulations and as far as I am aware, this has been abided to by all.
“If politicians really wanted to engage the electorate, particularly with a council election next year, then they should be using every tool available, not ruling them out because some parties lack the ability to use them.”
Councillor Ghai has claimed that the signs are unsightly and can be a danger to motorists, adding: “Such signs add little to democratic debate.”