HAVING attended a few meetings in the past, I thought it would be interesting to see how the new Malvern Hills Distric Council compared with the old one, so I went along last Tuesday.

As it turned out the meeting was packed with people supporting the initiative to bring 10 Syrian refugee families to Malvern.

Their speakers told us how many people had made practical offers of help, which would take the pressure off local services and the local council.

Opposition councillors explained how much support and advice they had received from a variety of agencies and from the local MP, who suggested bringing in one family at a time so the programme could be eased in gently.

Conservative councillors on the other hand remained absolutely silent throughout, apart from the proposer, Melanie Baker, and seconder, Bronwen Behan, the former requesting a named vote.

They then all proceeded to vote against helping the refugees.

Presumably the named vote was requested to ensure all the Conservatives voted as they were told to vote.

I was left wondering why anyone would want to stand for the council when all they dare do is turn up and vote as instructed.

As for the new council, clearly little has changed. Issues are still decided according to party politicking rather than the merits and details of each case.

Stephen Chapman