Council opposes ID cards

IDENTITY cards will not be welcome in Eastbourne - that's the message local councillors are sending to the Government.

A motion put before Eastbourne Borough Council last Wednesday criticising plans to introduce ID cards received cross-party support.

Councillor Mike Thompson asked his colleagues to support a motion which read, "This council submits that the proposed introduction of compulsory identification cards would violate traditional British liberties unacceptably and compromise the rights of British citizens to live lawfully in this society free from arbitrary harassment by agents of the state and other bodies."

Lib Dem Parliamentary hopeful Stephen Lloyd, who spoke at the meeting, said he 'wholly supported and applauded the motion'.

He said he was against ID cards for reasons of liberty, the relationship between the individual and the state, and security of personal data - especially in the light of recent Government slip ups concerning information on disks going missing.

"The dangers of putting so much additional information about every citizen into one central database appear clear to everyone except, it seems, the Government.

"Ministers are frankly in denial when they argue that the information will be safe and people's privacy will not be undermined."

Cllr Thompson said the introduction of ID cards would be a 'clear and uncompromising infringement of our civil liberties'.

And Cllr Graham Marsden added, "Across the whole of the council chamber there is a considerable concern about loss of liberty."

Cllr Greg Szanto, who seconded the motion, said, "The Government is trying to impose ID cards on us and we don't want them."

Eastbourne joins 32 other councils in rejecting the principle of ID cards.