Hebden Royd Council votes to oppose ID Cards

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hebden Bridge Town Council has passed a motion on Wednesday evening opposing government plans for a national identity database and becoming the first town council to affiliate to the No2ID national pressure group.

The motion proposed by councillor John Beacroft-Mitchell (Lib Dem, Cragg Vale Ward) called on the council to make representation against the proposals which will do nothing to help the people of Hebden Bridge, and to "only co-operate with the national identity card scheme where to do otherwise would be unlawful".

"ID cards will be of little use but a great expense to the people of Hebden Royd. A survey of businesses in the Hebden Bridge Times last week showed that more police are needed in our area. An identity card won't stop shoplifting or anti-social behaviour but properly equipped police will.

ID cards will not help to control illegal immigration and will have little impact on benefit fraud or identity theft.

According to recent studies cost of the scheme could rise to over £18 billion which will be funded through the taxpayers pocket. Hebden Royd citizens will have to buy the card, at a cost of between £100 and £300, and if your card is lost or stolen you will be charged for a replacement."

Councillor Beacroft-Mitchell continued, "Anytime you move house, you will have to pay to have your details updated - and there is a presumption of accuracy in the database, you will be responsible for maintaining your own record. If there is an error in the database it will be considered your error. IT experts agree that any database of this size will have significant errors and could be tampered with.

"At best, the scheme will be an expensive fiasco - at worst, it will fundamentally damage the freedoms of all British citizens including those of Hebden Royd. Taxpayers money, ëourí money, would be better spent on improving police support for areas such as Hebden Royd."

Councillor Nader Fekri (Lib Dem), seconding the motion, asked for a united front against the plans:

"I hope we will hear a positive response to these moves from our MP and Calderdale Council. We are being asked tonight to take a stand against this scheme."

"These unprincipled government proposals will fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state, and will cost the taxpayer a fortune to do it. We must fight them now, before they are written deep in the statute books, and the council has demonstrated it is determined to do that."

See also: NO2ID - campaigning organisation opposed to the government's planned ID card and National Identity

See also - Susan Press's comment in the Hebweb discussion area


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