While I’ve spoken at many Council meetings, last night was the first time in my Council career that I proposed a motion to Council which is a wholly different experience. I tried to keep away from politics in my speech and centred it on four main points:

  • Colchester’s historic status as Britain’s first city and it’s importance as part of our Roman heritage. People in Colchester are very proud of our history and heritage and becoming a city would promote that and emphasise it.
  • Colchester’s current status as an important regional centre with a dynamic and creative population, great cultural facilities, a top rank University and an important garrison.
  • Why having a community-led bid is so important. This isn’t about self-aggrandizement by the Council, this is about the people standing up for themselves, and that concept of an informed and active civitas goes right back to the Roman concept of a city.
  • What city status would mean for us: Putting us on the national stage by bidding with the potential for international recognition for Colchester if we’re chosen in 2012, highlighting our importance and potential to tourists and businesses.
  • There was a lengthy debate – one of the longest I’ve known in my time as a Councillor – and some very good points were made by a number of councillors from all sides. In the end, though, the vote was in favour of proceeding with a bid – put together by the community through Destination Colchester, without cost to the Council – by 26 votes to 19. Which means I now have a 100% record in presenting things to full Council.