Saturday, 28 May 2016

Speech by Cllr Andrew Cooper, Green Party Leader on the Leadership of Kirklees Council

I’d like to start by paying tribute to the last Council Leader David Sheard. You knew exactly what you were getting with David. No double dealing, just straightforward and honest. Sure sometimes he’d get things wrong, he would do things I didn’t agree with, but you could trust him and trust can be a rare and precious commodity especially in the world of politics. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Now to today and we are offered a new Leader of the Council and as a hung Council it needs to be someone who can secure the trust, support or acquiescence of at least one other Political Group on this Council. I have to say to you today that Councillor Pandor will not have that support from Councillors in the Green Party and Independent Group. Trust is vital in the role of a Leader. Trust in their ability and trust in what they say. We understand that the Labour Group were told by their new Leader some days ago that our support for his administration had been secured. It had not. If a Leader cannot tell the truth to their own political colleagues, no matter how unpalatable that might be, then how can he be trusted with the Leadership of this Council?

This bid to lead Kirklees Council is not built on principles, policies or a programme. It is a bid constructed of personal ambition, fuelled by promises and secured by patronage. It cannot stand. It cannot be supported.

Kirklees Council is on the edge of a precipice, our budgets are declining and the longer we leave the administration in this chaos, the harder it will be for any administration to fix. We have a Draft Local Plan that, if delayed, could leave our communities at the mercy of developers.  Labour Members as the largest group on this Council have a special responsibility to recognise the reality of this crisis, to heal your internal wounds quickly, hard though I know that is, and to come back with an answer that unites not just your own Party but that of the Council as a whole. If you don’t then it is not just this Council as a body that you will be letting down but all the communities of Kirklees.  

I say directly to Labour Members and particularly to those who may have supported Cllr Pandor that he cannot lead this Council. Your loyalty to your Leader has been demonstrated by you putting him forward today as your Groups nominee to lead our Council. If he does not succeed in that, then that reality has changed, all bets are off. The Labour Party will need to come up with a new solution and quickly. We will help you where we can to secure a stable administration. It is the responsibility of every Kirklees Councillor of whatever Party today to help achieve that.

This is no 'Game of Thrones'. This is 'Game Over'.

No comments:

Post a Comment