Occupation Map

Occupation Map

Friday, 28 June 2013

Brent Lib Dems protest over officers blocking Veolia motion

Press release from Brent Lib Dems:

 In an unprecedented move Brent councillors were on Monday (24 June) blocked from discussing a properly tabled motion put forward by Liberal Democrat councillors.

The motion, proposed by Willesden Green councillor Ann Hunter, sets out concerns about Veolia’s activities supporting Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory which are considered by the United Nations to violate international law. Veolia has a record of building and operating a tramway and bus services which discriminate against Palestinian residents.

Veolia is currently on the shortlist for Brent’s public realm contract. If successful the company will receive tens of millions of pounds to run waste and recycling, street cleaning, grounds maintenance and burial services on behalf of Brent Council and BHP.

The Liberal Democrats want the council to be able to take into account the record of companies which are involved in violations of human rights when deciding who to give business to.

Brent Council already takes a stance on ethical issues when procuring some supplies – for example it has decided to be a Fair Trade borough and encourage the purchase of fair trade goods. The Liberal Democrat group believes it is a logical extension of that principle that when buying services the council should be able to exclude companies who break international law or violate basic human rights.

Councillor Hunter said:

Earlier on Monday evening we honoured Nelson Mandela, a man with a great record of fighting discrimination, promoting truth and reconciliation, and an inspirational advocate  of freedom of speech. Mandela has always been utterly forthright in his condemnation of any system which divides people by race. That is what this man stands for and why we honour him.
In Brent we are proud to be a borough where residents from all different backgrounds live, work and travel together We are truly a rainbow borough.
Veolia shares in the building and running of services which Palestinian residents are not allowed to use. Just imagine if on our way into London we had to divide: Asians on one bus or tube, White British on another, Jews on another and Afro-Caribbean residents on another. 
Of course, here that would be illegal. We should not put local taxpayers’ money into the pockets of companies which act in this way.

Councillor Paul Lorber, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, added:

I am shocked that council officials intervened to prevent us even discussing this issue. It has been lawfully debated elsewhere. Councillors are elected to speak out for the residents of Brent. If the Labour party or council officers wanted to put forward a different view they should have had the guts to do so in open debate instead of trying to stifle the democratic process.

No comments:

Post a Comment