Following their historic success at the recent Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council elections, two Bedworth Councillors have been appointed to the Conservatives Shadow Cabinet that intends to hold Labour to account across the Borough. Bedworth Conservatives took four out of the five available Council seats, winning seats in parts of the town where they have never won before in the history of the Council. Their success means that no single Party now has sufficient Councillors to form an overall majority - a situation known as 'No Overall Control.'
At the Annual Council, which marks the start of the new Council year, following the elections at the start of the month, Labour managed to hang on to power, just, by using the casting vote of the outgoing Mayor to appoint a fellow Labour Councillor as the new Mayor for the coming Council year. Council rules mean that the position of Mayor is not just a ceremonial role. The Mayor is also Chairman of the Council and in the event of a tied vote in Council the Mayor can use a casting vote to force a decision.
Labour's decision to hang on to power in this was goes against the clear message that voters sent to politicians at the Town Hall about wanting a change of direction for Nuneaton and Bedworth. At the elections the Conservatives won more than 50% of the popular vote but this has been ignored by Labour councillors, with Labour keeping control by the Green councillor abstaining and guaranteeing the outcome.
Newly elected Councillor for Exhall Ward and Chairman of Bedworth Conservatives, Cllr Damon Brown, said:
“The residents of Nuneaton and Bedworth sent a clear message at the local elections that they wanted a positive change at the Town Hall, with a new team offering vision, ambition and aspiration to tackle the problems our Borough faces. The Conservatives have shown they are listening to people and are the ones who are putting Bedworth first. The other parties have ignored this demand from local residents and it will not be forgotten in the future.
“Following Wednesday’s council we have the same people that have been responsible for the decline of our Borough just rearranged into different positions. Moving forward, the Conservatives in opposition will push every meaningful vote to the wire. We will hold Labour’s feet to the fire over the issues where residents have expressed concern.”
After the local election results and the votes at Annual Council, the Conservatives are an administration in waiting and are ready to step up to serve should Labour be unable to deliver for the people of Nuneaton and Bedworth.
In order to hold Labour to account, the Conservatives have announced their Shadow Cabinet line-up:
- Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Finance and Civic Affairs – Cllr Kris Wilson (Whitestone)
- Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Planning and Regeneration – Cllr Clare Golby (Arbury)
- Shadow Central Services and Refuse – Cllr Seb Gran (Slough)
- Shadow Housing, Health and Communities – Cllr Richard Smith (Bulkington)
- Shadow Arts, Leisure and Economic Development – Cllr Damon Brown (Exhall)
Cllr Brown concluded:
“It is no surprise to see two out of the five members of the Shadow Cabinet coming from Bedworth. It shows the level of success we have achieved locally - success that comes from listening to the people of Bedworth and tackling the issues that matter. we have a strong team and a lot of talent in the Shadow Cabinet. In contrast Labour look old, tired and out of touch. Cllr Seb Gran and I will ensure that Bedworth's voice is heard loud and clear within the Shadow Cabinet as well as in the Town Hall."
“From the state of the Town Centres’, the Borough Plan, helping young people get on the housing ladder to ensuring value for money at the Town Hall, we will be banging on Labour’s door in the interests of the people of Nuneaton and Bedworth. We are putting Labour on notice to shape up or ship out.”