As reported on this site in February there was motion passed by Medway Council protesting that while they were facing a cut in Government grant the UK's budget contribution is rising by 60%.
With the encouragement of the Direct Democracy campaign several other councils have adopted with an equivalent wording. They list Adur District Council, Hartlepool Borough Council, West Berkshire Council, South Bucks District Council, Hull City Council, Wycombe District Council and Waverley Borough Council.
This protest has cross Party support. The Labour MP John Cryer has written to councillors urging them to pass such a motion – Conservative Euro MP Dan Hannan and Jenny Jones of the Green Party also signed the letter. Hartlepool is a Labour council. Hull is Lib Dem.
As well as those councils listed by Direct Democracy we have also had the backing of Rother Council – including the Lib Dem councillors. In Three Rivers, a Lib Dem Council, the motion was carried unanimously at their meeting on February 22. Also Central Bedfordshire, Mid Devon, and Torbay.
I suspect there will be some more on the way. It sometimes takes a while. I think in Harrow and Maidstone the motion protesting at the EU budget was tabled but then held over to the following meeting.
Councillors are not short of meetings to atttend of one kind or another but there aren't all that many full council meetings. In my council we only have about half a dozen and usually don't debate motions at the Budget Council or the Annual Council.
But once such motions get debated they tend to get get pretty strong support – even from Lib Dem councillors.
Here is the text of the Medway Council motion that got the ball rolling:
The Council notes, with indignation, that whilst Medway is facing a massive 11.9% reduction in its financial settlement in 2011/12, the UK‘s contribution to the European Union (EU) is set to rise by 60% over two years. This Council notes that, despite the opposition of some Conservative MPs, and Labour and Conservative MEPs, it is likely that the government will agree to a further 2.9% increase in the overall EU budget.
This Council believes the EU should be treated the same as the other tiers of government and in these austere times should share responsibility, along with central and local government, for public spending reductions. Sharing the burden would result in less severe cuts for local authorities, and give more assistance to councils to protect front line services. This Council therefore urges Medway’s three MPs not to support an increase in the EU budget.