Local News

Derbyshire Conservatives Slam Out of Touch Labour on Cuts

Today, the Derbyshire Conservative Group slammed the controlling Labour administration for being out of touch with the public and running down the County’s General Reserve.  By 2020 the General Reserve is projected to be just 2.7% of the county’s revenue, a worryingly low figure that makes the authority vulnerable to running out of cash to manage unexpected pressures on its budget.  The buffer to the county’s finances as it grapples with the savings it needs to make, known as the Risk Management Budget is to be reduced to zero in the next two years further compounding the pressure on the County’s finances.

Richard the choice for Conservatives at Police Election

A Derbyshire Dales District Councillor has been selected to contest next May’s Police and Crime Commissioner Election in Derbyshire for the Conservatives.Richard Bright, 40, was endorsed as the new candidate following a selection meeting by party members from across Derbyshire at Ashover Village Hall.Richard said: “I am delighted to have been chosen by Derbyshire residents to contest the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Conservatives. “I will be Commissioner for both urban and rural Derbyshire and will support our hardworking officers to tackle all types of crime from anti-social behaviour to traffic offences“I also want to get better value for money for taxpayer and I understand the need for more collaboration with other police organisations and better use of new crime-fighting technology.“A Conservative Police Commissioner will also be able to work closely with Government to get the best deal possible for Derbyshire helping make our county a safer place to live.”

Derbyshire Labour Fail Glossop Residents with Undeliverable Promises

Derbyshire Labour have recently written to residents in Glossop and said they cannot deliver a library in the towns Victoria Hall, something they promised they would do during their 2013 County Election campaign. The previous Conservative administration was committed to building a £2million library on an alternative site with a children's library and play area because the costs and liabilities were too high to continue to use Victoria Hall, promising a library fit for the 21st century.

Derbyshire Conservatives Bemused at Difficult Labour Promise to Install Cameras at School Crossings

At today's Cabinet Meeting Labour Cabinet Member for Highways, Dean Collins, promised he would look to installing cameras at school crossings to replace School Crossing Patrols that his administration is cutting.  Conservative Deputy Leader and Shadow Highways Cabinet Member for Highways, Simon Spencer said, "Dean clearly doesn't know what he's doing and is somewhat out of his depth. He was fumbling for ideas to placate protestors in the meeting and has made promises he's going to find very difficult and expensive to deliver. There's currently no legislation that could support placing cameras on school pelican crossings, it is an area that raises all sorts of safeguarding issues, as well as logistical and technical issues.  It will be interesting to see how he will try to implement this and we look forward to hearing more from Cllr Collins."  The promise was made after protestors raised issues that removing highly visible school crossing patrols from schools would lead to potential accidents. They raised issues about drivers ignoring traffic lights and crossings and told of their experiences of near misses. Cllr Collins then said he was looking at cameras as an option and made promises to look at installing them at crossings to catch wrongdoers. Current legislation makes this extremely difficult and there are several technical and legal issues that would need to be overcome, making the scheme expensive and untenable.  Cllr Barry Lewis, Conservative Leader, said, "What Labour have failed to grasp is the school crossing patrol service is about preventing accidents and conflict outside schools, it is not about recording incidents or fining drivers for a mistake they really shouldn't be making in the first place. Councillors really should think carefully before making statements on the hoof that shows up their lack of knowledge."

Derbyshire Conservatives Blast Labour Disarray on Care Homes

Today Derbyshire Conservatives blasted the Labour administration at Derbyshire County Council over their plans to close 4 County Council care homes without a credible plan to replace them or meet future growing need for places in the county.  When Labour took control in 2013 they binned a comprehensive scheme that was hailed nationally as a potential solution to the growing elderly care issues faced by the nation.  The Derbyshire Conservatives plan was for a more than £200m package, funded in part by investment from the private sector, which would have seen Derbyshire’s crumbling care homes replaced with 1600 extra care places keeping couples together and allowing people to have their own front door and dementia care that would have been second to none.  A care scheme that was fit and proper for 21st century needs within a few miles of every most of Derbyshire’s population.

Derbyshire Conservatives Slam DCC Labour Hypocrisy Over Zero Hour Contracts

Derbyshire Conservative Group today slammed Labour's blatant hypocrisy over its rebranding of what are effectively hundreds, possibly even thousands, of zero hour contracts at Derbyshire County Council. Derbyshire Conservative Leader, Cllr Barry Lewis said, "Derbyshire Labour, like their colleagues at Lancashire County Council have attempted to rebrand ‘zero hours’ as 'relief hours’ contracts, although they remain zero hour based. It is outrageous on the one hand, to claim how terrible these contracts are supposed to be, even to make grand claims about banning or not using them, to then hide their existence and then hope you don't get caught with your pants down." Cllr Stuart Ellis, acting Shadow Cabinet Member of Corporate Resources said, "We are not condemning the council’s use of zero hours contracts, which we believe to be beneficial to both employer and employees alike but we do condemn their blatant attempt to fool the public over a basically uncontentious issue that Labour, at both national and local level, have sought to make controversial. There are clearly a considerable number of Derbyshire County Council employees on these contracts so why seek to distort the facts?"

Labour criticised over "propaganda" flyer by MP Mills

AMBER Valley MP, Nigel Mills, has criticised Derbyshire County Council for using public money to spread "political propaganda" through a new leaflet.

It follows the posting of a council tax flyer by the authority to every household in the county which claims that households in Derbyshire are getting £55 less in Government funding when compared to Hampshire.

But the Government confirmed this week that each home covered by Derbyshire County Council will receive £70 more than their equivalents in Hampshire over 2015/2016.

Conservatives Blast Labour Spin on State of County's Finances

Derbyshire Conservatives today blasted the Labour controlling Group on the way they have handled the cuts and manipulated the figures to portray a Council on its knees when the truth is far from it.  Today the Conservative Group pointed out that in 2009-10 the county council received grants of £480m, whilst for the upcoming financial year it will receive £495m, some £15m more than it received in 2009/10.  Overall the councils spending power was reduced by £1m or approximately 0.2% on the year before, or £500m as compared to £501m last year.

Catastrophic failure to ensure roads were properly gritted

It has come to our attention that comments have been sought from DCC officers and controlling members on the poor response by DCC on gritting. Please find a comment below from the DCC Conservative opposition...  Cllr Simon Spencer, Shadow Cabinet Member for Highways commented on the situation facing Derbyshire residents after a catastrophic failure to ensure roads were properly gritted,  "For Labour DCC to state that conditions were such that gritting failed to be effective is misleading the public in my opinion. The simple fact of the matter was that gritters were not seen on many primary routes early enough and it took many days before clearing and gritting took place on many secondary routes. Indeed some still appear to need attention and it is unacceptable.    A workable system was introduced by us some years ago, which proved to be effective during some of the most atrocious conditions for decades. Quite why the County Council managed to fail to address this event is beyond me.  Perhaps the Lead member took the view that a lesser response could be taken because it was the holiday period? Whatever the reason it was a total shambles." 

Cabinet changes announced today by Labour show

"A beleaguered Leader, struggling to maintain a tenuous grip on power." Said Derbyshire Conservative Leader Barry Lewis."It is clear that Cllr Western's efforts to run the council with an iron-fist are failing. Morale is at an all time low amongst senior officers and a climate of fear pervades.  It also raises questions about the competence of the Leadership and Cabinet to deliver in these difficult times."Cllr Simon Spencer, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group said, "It seems Cllr Western wasn't getting the results she wanted and has got rid of her key team - or they resigned. The outcome is the same; they can't work together for the County. We haven't seen this level of disharmony at Derbyshire County Council since the Bookbinder days. And we all remember how that turned out."