Council to vote on blocking Donald Trump from Ashfield visit

Can you imagine Donald Trump coming to Sutton? Ashfield councillors will vote on whether or not they would let him.

Can you imagine Donald Trump coming to Sutton? Ashfield councillors will vote on whether or not they would let him.

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Ashfield District Council is to consider a travel ban on Donald Trump, should he decide to swing by Nottinghamshire.

The proposed vote would mean banning the use of any council funds to welcome the US President and provide hospitality if he were to visit the District as part of a UK tour.

Ashfield could impose a travel-ban on US President Donald Trump.

Ashfield could impose a travel-ban on US President Donald Trump.

Put forward by Ashfield Independent Councillor Helen-Ann Smith, it would effectively take Ashfield off the list of potential areas.

It is prompted by 'concern' that the UK government has decided to invite Mr Trump for a state visit, and his subsequent Muslim travel ban, which Coun Smith described as 'extreme' and 'discriminatory'.

The motion, to be discussed at a full meeting on February 16, states: "This Council notes with concern the decision by the Government to invite US President Donald Trump on a state visit to the UK. This Council notes the extreme, discriminatory actions announced by the US President immediately after the visit of the Prime Minister to Washington DC.

"This Council further notes that some residents of Ashfield District are now barred from visiting the USA by these divisive measures."

The full council vote would then decide whether to "take no formal part in any state visit to the UK by the US President and to withhold any council resources from being used to support any such state visit.”

Coun Christine Quinn-Wilcox, Selston Independents, who seconded the motion, said: "It's a cost thing. He's not popular with half the country, and while he may be popular with the other half, why should we be wasting money on something like that when we are struggling financially?

"When dignitaries visit the country the local area picks up the tab, but it would be cheeky to ask the people of Ashfield who have nowhere near the income of the President, to pay for his hospitality."

The councillor added that it is not known if any families were individually affected by Mr Trump's travel ban, but there are residents in the district who originate in those countries which were banned and would not have been able to travel to the USA.

Coun Helen-Ann Smith said: "Given that he has caused some controversy and that we do not know the way his state visit would play out, I think it is only right that Ashfield residents do not pay anything towards any visit.

"We are in a time where we see the Council is making unprecedented tax hikes and slashing and burning our services. I don't feel it would be right for a single penny of Ashfield Council Taxpayers money to be spent on any state visit when it should be spent on keeping our streets clean and safe. Whatever your personal views on President Trump, state visit or not, local people should not be asked to foot the bill.

"I expect it will be a lively debate at the Council."

Coun Ben Bradley, hucknall Conservative, said: “This is a massive waste of all of our time as councillors,and also of taxpayers money. There are 1000 more important things we should be talking about! What are we going to do, build a wall!?”

The debate will not cost the taxpayer anything, added Coun Smith, as it takes place during an already scheduled full council meeting.

Mr Trump was approached for comment but did not respond.

What are your thoughts on a proposal to ban Donald Trump from Ashfield? Comment on our Facebook page or email newsdesk@chad.co.uk and let us know.