Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts And Other Busyness

Local Authorities Against ID Cards... except true blue Wandsworth

Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg 14.

The three main representative bodies of local authorities have spoken out against the introduction of identity cards of any kind.

The Association of Metropolitan Authorities, Association of District Councils and the Association of County Councils have said in a joint statement that ID cards “would be detrimental to the rights of individual citizens”.

In their response to Michael Howard’s Green Paper on the subject, they say: “Giving the police powers to stop people and ask them to prove their identity is a major intrusion on the rights of the citizen and is bound to heighten tension between the police and certain sections of the community particularly the young and ethnic minorities.”

The response goes on to say that a voluntary ID card scheme would lead “to substantial social pressure to carry a card. In effect, a voluntary scheme would lead to a de facto compulsory one very quickly”.

Wandsworth Council, however, continues its long waged fight to erode social housing. The central London borough council have put forward controversial new proposals obliging council tenants to re-apply for a lease every seven years and to carry identity cards.

Wandsworth have said the scheme is designed to “ensure council homes go to those who need them, not those who use the system best”. As a borough that has sold over half its housing stock, the Council’s misdirected finger appears to point under false pretence.