Labour's Matt Dent questions Tory MPs' refusal to work with Council


At the full council meeting of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council on Thursday 25th February, Labour's candidate for Blenheim Park ward asked the leader of the council about the town's Tory MPs' refusal to work with the non-Conservative administration for the good of Southend residents.

Matt asked:

"In a letter to his constituents, the MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, has attacked the administration currently running the council as giving "factional leadership" and "poor direction of policy". Given that Southend has suffered millions of pounds of cuts at the hands of Sir David's government, and surprisingly has not benefited from the extra money doled out from the Treasury, united leadership for the town is undeniably vital.
"In light of this, could the leader of the council tell me what invitations he has made to Sir David and James Duddridge since he became the leader of the council, and what the response of Southend's Conservative MPs has been to these open offers of co-operation?"

And Councillor Woodley replied:

"Our Joint Administration has always made decisions based on what we believe and feel is best for the residents of the town. We constantly have to deal with negative comments from Conservative councillors as well as our two Conservative MPs. These comments do not offer us a viable alternative solution, but openly criticise to whoever wants to listen, and more often than not are not based on actual fact.

"However, the Joint Administration has run the Council effectively and efficiently since it took over in June 2014. It has continued to provide the best possible service to the residents of the town, notwithstanding the considerable cuts coming to us from central government. The Joint Administration has listened to the people of Southend, has been united in its objectives and given clear direction. It is very disappointing that our two local MPs have not supported the Council in its endeavours.

"I have made repeated efforts to work with our MPs for the good of the town, but they continue to refuse to speak to me."

The question and answer can be viewed on the public webcast of the council meeting.

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