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Was Cllr Uddin’s call for post vote reform really his own?

PUBLISHED: 11:54 24 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:49 05 October 2010

Dear Editor, I HAD to laugh when I read Respect’s Cllr Uddin’s letter about postal voting, sayting he wrote to Labour, Tories and Lib Dems on Tower Hamlets council on November 5 to support his call for an end to the corrupt postal voting on demand’ system. I sent Respects and Tories and Lib Dems a letter two months before asking them to join me to ask the council’s chief executive to discuss postal voting, but didn't even get a reply

Dear Editor,

I HAD to laugh when I read Respect’s Cllr Dulal Uddin’s letter last week about postal voting (East London Advertiser Letters, November 20). He says he wrote to Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on Tower Hamlets council on November 5 to support his call for an end to the corrupt postal voting on demand’ system.

I wrote to Respect as well as to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on September 11, two months before, asking them to join me to ask the council’s chief executive for a meeting to discuss the abuses of postal voting. I enclosed a copy of my Green Paper publication about postal voting on demand’ not being compatible with free and fair elections and how it was undermining democracy since it was introduced by the Labour Government in 2001.

Cllr Uddin mentioned that it was to their “enormous credit (that) Tory leader Peter Golds and Lib Dem leader Stephanie Eaton responded immediately, saying they would support such a call.”

Sad to say they did not extend the same courtesy to me and the letter I sent them two months earlier, not even an acknowledgement. The only one to acknowledge my contribution was MP George Galloway in his letter to the Advertiser on November 13—all the more remarkable since I didnt give him a copy.

I was left with no alternative but to write to Tower Hamlets chief executive without the support of the Opposition parties. I received a reply from the Electoral Services officer at the end of October stating Tower Hamlets has worked hard since 2006 to ensure the postal vote procedure is “robust and secure” and that new regulations have been put in place, which were used in the London Assembly elections earlier this year.

The Town Hall’s case that all is now well’ on electoral matters was somewhat called into question when I received a second voter registration form recently. It was a surprise since I returned the previous one last month.

If Labour loses control at Tower Hamlets in 2010, we will all have to work together to maintain local democracy in the East End.

Terry McGrenera

Devons-road, Bromley-by-Bow

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