FAILING to debate a motion acknowledging the role of EU citizens has been hailed as a ‘sad day for Stratford’.
A cross-party motion calling for Stratford District Council to acknowledge the importance of Europeans to the local economy was due to be discussed at Monday’s full council meeting.
It called for increased involvement of EU citizens in local decision making and for the council to put pressure on government to make clear their plans for Europeans currently living in the UK.
But the motion – which was proposed by Labour’s Coun Jason Fojtik and seconded by Conservative Coun Tobert Vaudry – failed to go-ahead after Coun Vaudry did not attend the meeting because he was stuck in Birmingham.
Coun Fotjik told the Observer: “As Coun Vaudry did not attend the motion was not debated. It was a sad day for democracy in Stratford.
“EU citizens who have come to live and work here in Stratford have contributed enormously to our economic and cultural life.
“They have worked hard, paid their taxes, integrated, raised families and put down roots.
“They did not have a vote in the referendum, but the result has left them living under a cloud of uncertainty. They are understandably concerned about their right to remain, and their future rights to access education and healthcare.
“This was a motion which meant the council could take the lead in this county to set an example of real leadership and to demonstrate our compassion and true support for all residents in the district, particularly EU citizens who need support and friendship at this very difficult time for them.”
Coun Vaudry says he will be seconding the motion so it can be discussed at the next full council meeting in July, and even hopes it can be debated at the council AGM next month as a matter of priority.
He said: “I was very disappointed not to make the meeting and will certainly second it going forward. I hope it can be discussed before then.
“Both myself and Coun Fojtik have a considerable number of residents who are concerned about what will happen when Britain leaves the EU.
“So far I have had around 30 people say to me this is an issue. It is a really big deal for Stratford.”
The next full council meeting is set to be held on July 17.