Friday, January 24

Brighton MP calls on Conservatives to back Labour’s bid to oust Greens

- January 17, 2014

Brighton Kemptown Conservative MP Simon Kirby has called on his party colleagues on Brighton and Hove City Council to join with Labour to oust the ruling Greens.

Mr Kirby said: “I am urging my Conservative colleagues on the council to work with Labour and remove the Greens from office.

“I am prepared to take the unusual step of putting party politics to one side. We need to do what’s best for the city.

“Enough is enough. I represent about 90,000 people, many of whom are struggling to pay their bills.

“At a time when individuals and families are having to make tough decisions, they expect their council to do the same, not hike up their bills.

“The bonkers proposal to raise council tax by 4.75 per cent is just the latest decision which shows how damaging this Green administration has become for the city, following on the heels of the parking charge increases, 20mph debacle, bin disputes and countless others.

“While this is clearly a decision for the councillors to make, I am calling on the Conservative group to put party politics aside for the good of the city and support the Labour motion of no confidence in the Green administration and for both parties to agree to take the government money on offer to freeze council tax this year.

“I know this will require Labour to abandon their previous support for council tax increases but I am hopeful they will be willing to do so in the interests of residents.

“I have launched a survey on this issue at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CouncilTax2014.

“Over 80 per cent of respondents so far have declared they have ‘no confidence’ in the Greens and 60 per cent support a council tax freeze.”

Mr Kirby was speaking in response to the Greens’ proposal to put up council tax by 4.75 per cent from April and hold a referendum – costing about £230,000 – to ratify the rise.

He said: “We are in uncharted waters but the Greens are making such a mess of our city that radical action is required.

“It’s been an interesting experiment but we can’t wait until 2015. They need to go now.

“I can’t speak for Geoffrey (Theobald, leader of the opposition Conservative group) and his fellow councillors but my only condition would be to take the government’s money for a council tax freeze.”

The proposal is expected to be discussed before and at the weekly Conservative group meeting on Monday (20 January).

The Labour motion of no confidence will be debated at the full council meeting on Thursday 30 January.

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