Letter to Editor: Call for Labour Chair of Licensing to resign

Politics / Wed 1st Jul 2020 at 03:14pm

Dear Sir,

AS a former Chairman of Harlow Council’s Licencing Committee I would like to express my sadness and dismay that the current Chair of Licencing, Cllr Jezzard, published the following comment on Twitter in response to the Ministry of Justice announcing four new prisons.

Her comment as published on her Twitter feed. “Prisons and the ‘criminal justice’ system primarily exist to preserve capitalism pass it on”

By making this public comment Cllr Jezzard has made it clear that she does not respect or support the criminal justice system. As chairman of the committee, she cannot be said to be impartial. It is vital that any member of the committee, let alone the chair, has no pre-determined opinion on cases brought to this Quasi-Judicial committee which, by its very nature, falls within the criminal justice system. Her comments clearly show that she has a strongly held opinion and that it cannot be tenable for her to lead the Licencing Committee.

The work that the Licencing Committee carries out is primarily to ensure that the regulations of the Licencing and Gambling statutes are properly implemented. The public, who rely on Licencing councillors to ensure that the law is upheld, place a great trust in us and expect us to be impartial. This role was formerly undertaken by Licencing Magistrates.

We all admire and respect the work carried out by our excellent Police force who work tirelessly to keep us all safe 24 hours a day, putting themselves at risk daily. It is therefore unbecoming for a senior councillor in such a sensitive role to undermine the work carried out on her behalf by the Police.

How can anybody now have confidence that Cllr Jezzard can carry out her statutory duties as Chairman of Licencing, knowing that she does not support the rule of law.

To restore public confidence in one of the most important roles of the council the Leader of the council must act swiftly to replace Cllr Jezzard as Chairman of Licencing.

Kind regards

Councillor Nick Churchill

Sumners and Kingsmoor Ward

We contact Councillor Jezzard for a comment. Cllr Jezzard said: “Obviously I respect the laws of the society we live in, and as a result I don’t break them. Pointing out why they primarily exist isn’t an issue in my opinion.

If Cllr Churchill has an issue with capitalism that’s not my problem.

“Likely I will go on private (on Twitter) after this. Getting a bit weirded out at the people who don’t even follow me constantly creeping on my profile and attacking a young woman”.

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5 Comments for Letter to Editor: Call for Labour Chair of Licensing to resign:

2020-07-01 15:45:21

Yet again, this so called Momentum follower has another massive attack of F I M syndrome. It's becoming blatantly obvious that her efforts to act or behave as a worthy local councillor are far below the standards expected. For FIM read, "foot in mouth ".

2020-07-01 16:29:18

While 90% of the laws need repealing as there is no victim and a conservative government should understand that. She is socialist and as such her views thoughts and comments should be disregarded with that of anyone who's creed is responsible for misery and the deaths of over 150 Million in the last century.

Jake Shepherd
2020-07-01 16:29:46

There's been a couple of stories about Cllr Shannon Jezzard lately, and whilst it's perfectly right and proper to hold our elected representatives to a account - I feel we can all benefit from reflecting how comments such as these contribute to a wider culture which either encourages or puts off young (and particularly female) candidates from running for the local council or indeed positions such as chairperson of influential committees. Having previously been a community governor, and involved with various organisations around the town, I've seen the benefits of having a broad and diverse range of opinions and points of view uegh8n) within organisations. Whilst I don't always fully agree with Cllr Jezzard, I support the principle of pluralism and would hope Cllrs would welcome the opportunity to broad and engaging discussions. I would be surprised if anyone took issue with that. - Jake Shepherd

2020-07-01 17:56:03

Jake, I completely agree that there is a real problem in the council of reflecting society as most members tend to be middle aged white men and over. Doesn’t really represent Harlow and we should have more females, younger people and people from different backgrounds to be there...as long as they put themselves forward. Also I agree to an extent that a wide range of views is included, mainly for political balance, new perspectives and holding to account. However, what is worrying about these articles of late is the extreme nature of her views. Just as much as we shouldn’t allow far right, too far left isn’t much better. Having such views and putting statements out that are either deliberately provocative or upsetting to others views isn’t very mature either by a council member. So it is a terrible advert for young people if all are believed to be like this, they are not, but this councillor does nothing to represent the views of the wider community, which looking at past elections are some way off hers. But I guess only an election will prove that and hope people vote for the individual rather than just the party. So in short, you make some excellent points, but, there is a limit to what views should be accepted, far left is just as dangerous as far right to majority of people and doesn’t make it acceptable, otherwise we might as well just let the Brexit party have some say too. Nobody wants that...

Dave Whitney
2020-07-01 23:21:40

Two hundred and fifty years ago poor people in Britain could be sentenced to death for theft. This was one of the ways in which those who had been dispossessed of the land were encouraged to work in the factories that were coming into being in the Industrial Revolution. While it was illegal for the starving to steal food, those with wealth were lauded for further enriching themselves with the fruits of the forced labour of people abducted from Africa and transported to plantations on Caribbean islands. Capitalism would not have developed without a legal system that not only dispossessed the common people of the land and encouraged them to work in factories or face execution for stealing food, but also endorsed slavery and imperial conquest, the proceeds of which provided the capital to finance the Industrial Revolution. There has not been a political revolution in Britain in the past three centuries, so we are still living with a legal system that was created to facilitate the development and maintenance of capitalism. Why do some advocates of capitalism deny the role of the legal system in maintaining that system? Do they not think that the legal system should play this role?

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