Below is the resignation email of the Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council, sent this evening.
Clearly, Alec Robertson’s U turn on whether to force through privatisation of council services has not been enough to restore harmony to the Conservative Group and it looks as if Jim Currie is taking the Leader’s promise to take note of the majority with a large cup of salt.
All very intriguing – people who are turned on by politics (hold up my hands, guilty as charged) will be fascinated. People who rely on Cornwall Council services might be wondering why the turmoil over this at such a late stage and after nearly £2 million has been spent.
How did the Leader ever think this could be pushed through on the nod without even convincing his own Deputy, let alone the Conservative Group, the Tory/Indie administration or a simple majority of councillors?
That is the big question and the reason the leader’s position is in the balance. The answer at least in part is that the Cabinet has the power to push this through without support but that is no excuse for doing it.
Complaining about personal insults is missing the point. As Jim Currie says this has never been personal. I would add that it is about leadership style and about a risky venture that the majority have deep misgivings about and yet have been expected to roll over and support after a few reassurances and a bit of patronising bluster.
And who’d have thunk it? I’ve lost track of the number of council meetings recently where Conservatives have leapt to the defence of public services and I’ve hardly been able to get a word in edgeways.
October 16th looks more interesting than ever. It is not now just a question of whether the majority supports one leader but whether they would prefer another and full council is being asked to do what the Conservative group bottled last year when they re-elected their leader.
A spirit of cooperation is stalking the corridors of County Hall but it’s not much in evidence amongst the Tory Group
I am resigning from the Cabinet today as I feel that I have pushed the cause of retaining Council control over Joint Ventures as far as I can with the Cabinet.
The financial risks involved with the rush into the new Joint Venture proposals are unacceptable. The JV is basically too large to control. We have wasted £42m+ on the Unitary, £42m+ on the Incinerator and we are now proposing to risk a great deal more on the Joint Venture.
I welcome your somewhat ambiguous offer to respect Full Council decisions on the 23rd October but I know you will never let go.
I could not leave local government with billions of pounds of Cornish Taxpayers money at risk and on my conscience.
Alec, this matter has never been personal.