In a democracy political candidates are elected on the principle of one person, one vote. This isn’t what happens in the City of London, the only place in the UK to retain the business vote, where non-residents have roughly two votes for every vote given to locals; these non-residents also get to vote wherever they happen to live. Clearly this is unfair. Since the City of London is resistant to reform of its political system, things could be evened up a little by giving City of London residents two votes each in local politics in Chorleywood, where City of London common councillor and chair of its Planning and Transportation Committee Chris Hayward also represents the Conservative party. Chorleywood is a village and civil parish in Three Rivers District, Hertfordshire.
View of Chorleywood showing wasteful low rise housing & unused building land. Given their pro-development agenda in the City of London, surely Chris Hayward and Mark Boleat want 24-storey or higher buy-to-leave luxury apartment blocks for non-dom foreign investors built in this part of their local Three Rivers neighbourhood?
The parish had a population of 11,286 people at the 2011 census. In a 2004 survey of neighbourhoods, Chorleywood was found to be the place in England with the highest quality of life. Giving City of London residents two votes each in the parish would enable them to dominate it politically. They could then greatly improve the area by voting in a pro-development councillor to replace Chris Hayward. This would have the double advantage of leaving Hayward free to pursue his pro-development politics in the utterly undemocratic City of London and stop him looking like a hypocrite by not doing the same thing in Chorleywood (where he has to answer to a local electorate). The Three Rivers District is in the heart of the commuter belt and it is ripe for development along the lines of the tall skyscrapers Hayward favours in the City of London. However rather than office blocks, a pro-development candidate might want to pursue the construction of luxury ghost flats that would block sunlight from local homes, schools and parks – rather like Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen AKA The Turd development in Golden Lane, which Hayward helped sail through the City of London planning process.
Clearly Chorleywood Cricket Ground is an utter waste of space but it seems despite their pro-development agenda in their roles as common councillors in the City of London, Three Rivers locals Chris Hayward and Mark Boleat have failed to spearhead a campaign to get thousands of high rise luxury flats built here; to be sold to foreign investors who’d leave them empty of course!
Another City of London common councillor and Three Rivers resident is ‘Sir’ Mark Boleat. In his role as chair at the Housing & Finance Institute, this former City of London council boss favours abolishing local democracy by ending local representatives having a vote on planning decisions. However, our suggestion of City residents getting two votes each in Chorleywood caters just as well to Boleat’s aversion to local democracy; and he could watch the glorious results in terms of newly built luxury ghost homes proliferating in his own backyard with great satisfaction! Of course, while constructing buy-to-leave apartment blocks for investors in Chorleywood and the wider Three Rivers district would do nothing to solve the housing crisis in the UK, there’s no reason why Boleat shouldn’t make absurd claims on this score since he’s already done so in relation to The Denizen AKA The Turd in the City of London.
Flats above shops in Chorleywood on fire, demonstrating the need for a redevelopment of the area in which these low-rise buildings would be replaced with luxury apartment skyscrapers aimed at ghost home investors.
Since the City of London is so unwilling to abolish both the business vote and its bicameral local political system (i.e. the office of alderman), let’s temporarily resolve the matter by giving all City residents two votes in Chorleywood. Boleat, Hayward and their cronies love the lack on democracy in the borough in which they get ‘elected’ on business votes, so we’re sure they’ll welcome an adaptation of this system on their home turf!
Image above of the London financial district illustrates the kind of redevelopment giving City residents two votes in Chorleywood could lead to on currently underused land such as the local common. After all this is only 32 kilometres north-west of Charing Cross!