Thursday, 6 February 2014

Bedroom Tax - proposed resolution for the Court of Wardmote

The Court of Wardmote is mostly a formality  - however, unlike residents' association meetings, etc, resolutions passed at Wardmote must come before the Court of Aldermen (here styled the Grand Court of Wardmote). The Court of Wardmote has a few powers of appointment of ward officers, but its other powers have either been abolished, or are dormant.

 It is doubtful that a wardmote resolution has any legal power, however, passing a resolution is one of the few ways the inhabitants of the Ward can directly influence the City's governance, by literally putting their views 'on the agenda' of Common Council.

A resolution on the "Bedroom Tax" at Wardmote is, I believe, a worthwhile thing to propose:

The 'Green Box' and Medical Facilities in the Ward also have their origin in resolutions of Wardmote, where the inhabitants requested the Common Council carry out a feasability study, and report back to the Wardmote. The Portsoken Working Group sub-committee was also set up in 2011, as a direct result of resolutions passed at our wardmote, and subsequently discussed at the Grand Court of Wardmote.

Here is my proposed resolution for the forthcoming wardmote: The precise wording may change, after consultation with other parties.

The inhabitants of the Ward of Portsoken in Court of Wardmote assembled,  resolve:
" That Grand Court of Wardmote of the City of London  convey to Court of Common Council the expressed desire of this wardmote, that residential spare bedrooms in properties in the Ward of Portsoken, until now designated 'bedrooms',  should be re-assigned formally as 'rooms of unspecified use' by the Common Council, in order that the penalty mentioned in the Welfare Reform Act 2012, popularly known as the 'spare bedroom tax' may not be applied to such 'spare' rooms in the Ward of Portsoken.

Note - the Union of Parishes Act (1907) abolished all the Parish Councils and Vestries in the City, and their powers were taken over by the Court of Common Council. 
This act explicitly excluded the Courts of Wardmote. 

"Nothing in this Act shall affect the division of the city of London into wards or the holding of the wardmote in any of such wards or the appointment of ward clerks beadles and other officers in the said wards."

Printed and promoted by Evan Philip Millner of 19b Petticoat Tower, Petticoat Square, City of London E1 7EF

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