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Cabinet member Lance Kennedy quits Tory party

By CG_Oscar  |  Posted: March 01, 2013

Lance Kennedy

Comments (6)

Cornwall Cabinet member Lance Kennedy has resigned from the Conservative Party a and crossed the floor to join the Independent group on the council.

The Bodmin East councillor said he could no longer support the party after it joined with the Liberal Democrats to force through last Tuesday's budget which will see 135 council jobs axed.

He said he was appalled to see   councillors laughing and cheering at the budget result at the same time as  staff were in tears at the prospect of losing their jobs.

Mr Kennedy's defection to the Independents follows that of fellow Cabinet member and former Tory Carolyn Rule from Mullion,  and means the Independents now hold the majority on the decisions making Cabinet.

Mr Kennedy, portfolio holder for public health and protection, said the decision of Conservative councillors to support the Liberal Democrat's amendment for a zero  increase in council tax without regard to the consequences was beyond belief.

"What I witnessed on Tuesday was probably the worst example of cynical party politics I and most senior political have ever witnessed,'' he said.

"Even when  told that these consequences would be the loss of approximately 135 jobs, and a serious  reduction in capacity to a number of services, (Conservative)  members again voted in favour of the ill-thought out and speculative Liberal democrat motion.

"The most significant behaviour that appalled me and has finalised my decision (to resign) was that some of the group laughed and cheered as they achieved their zero percent goal with no regard to the staff affected, many of whom were in tears at the prospect of losing their jobs.

"I cannot continue to be associated with a party that has chosen, even in these difficult times. to put party doctrine ahead of the people of Cornwall.''

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  • Doitdreckley  |  March 02 2013, 11:59AM

    WHICH jobs should specificall go then? Do you not realise that local government has tonnes of duties required of in law but not the resources. Suppose hundreds of people are sacked who then need social security, perhaps are taken ill because of the stress and need the NHS, get into debt, pehaps take it out on thei families so social services get involved, never work again so they need more help in retirement, their skils are lost to the economy etc. Dont think you have thought out the true cost to the state of people being out of work. It costs more than employing them.

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  • TheGeofflane  |  March 01 2013, 1:52PM

    Someone had to stop the Council gravy-train and freezing Council tax will concentrate their minds wonderfully. The 'jobs' that should go however are not those at the sharp end. They are some of those un-necessary safely in-house 'jobs' we don't really need, featured from time-to-time in 'Private Eye'. Usually with wonderfully weird description. Anyone read our glorious former leader's attachment to BT, both at Newcastle, here and inbetween. Good luck NZ. It'll be cabinet government and BT outsourcing for you soon.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  March 01 2013, 1:39PM

    Every other bit of tax is going up. The Council Tax elements for the police and parish councils, utilities and VAT all continue to go up. Not putting up the county element of the council tax is smoke and mirrors, it would only be a few extra pence a week. Of course, the only tax that has gone down is for the rich such as the 50p tax rate going down to 45p

  • kimmyp  |  March 01 2013, 1:24PM

    These are tough times and of course we don't want our council tax to increase but the reality is everything has to be paid for and nobody wants to sacrifice anything. I read the lib dems proposals on what they want to spend money on and that with them not wanting to increase council tax is totally based on the knowlege that the vast majority will only read the headline and that will win votes. I personally think there are ways to increase revenue and decrease spending but it wouldn't be popular and it would mean that we would all have to shoulder a bit more responsibility for our local enviroment instead of the usual attitude of "I pay council tax so why should I do it"

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  • BigDigger  |  March 01 2013, 10:49AM

    I used to think "independent" meant just that; however it seems that if I vote for an "Independent" candidate, I am voting for a "group" (party?) A bit like finding horsemeat in one's burger...?

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  • Doitdreckley  |  March 01 2013, 10:42AM

    Cllr Kennedy should be applauded for his words and actions. Particularly criticising the spectacle of taking delight in party politics when people will lose their jobs and all the consequences on them and their families. BUT, if Liberals and Tories are in coalition nationally slashing public spending and targetting welfare and local government there is an inevitable conequence of all of this. The writing was and has been on the wall for years. If you genuinely care about jobs, services and the economy (for austerity is not working) then leave the Liberals and the Tories.

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