Local News

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."

Labour in Chaos Over Adult Care

At yesterday's Cabinet meeting questions put by Cllr Barry Lewis on behalf of the Conservative Group on the closure of Southlands Care Home exposed failings by Derbyshire County Council to deliver a package of Extra Care to Derbyshire’s elderly residents.  Whilst the Conservatives were in administration a cutting edge £200million investment package was developed to deliver residential, and sheltered housing to meet growing need well into the 21st century.  Up to £80million of that was to be externally funded by housing providers such as Housing 21, and other developers.  The overarching principle was to provide high quality care facilities that not only met future need but ensured that there was a range of provision to meet a broad range of needs, such as enabling couples to stay together and have their own front door.  Other options allowed people to purchase or rent apartments and health and social care providers to meet residential care needs, including for specialist dementia care.  

Derbyshire Conservative Campaign Pays Off! New School for Glossop

Derbyshire Conservatives today celebrated a significant victory after months of renewed campaigning for a new school for Glossopdale.   Since being in administration from 2009 to 2013, talks had begun with the school, governors and the community about addressing concerns and bringing the school together at a single new location.  The talks were led by the then Cabinet Member for Education Cllr Mike Longden.   More recently Cllr Longden, along with the Shadow Cabinet Member for Young People and High Peak County Councillor Jocelyn Street, has been applying pressure on the Labour Group to deliver the vision for a new school.  The announcement today, by Derbyshire County Council comes after months of relentless questioning at Cabinet by the Conservative Group.  Cllr Mike Longden stated, "I am delighted that this new school will be built and that the current administration has delivered on a promise we made whilst in administration." Cllr Street added,  "It's great to hear that this will now finally happen and that Glossop will get the new school they deserve.  Perseverance really does pay off."

Conservative Leader Blasts Labour for Appalling Behaviour at Cabinet

At this yesterday's Cabinet at Derbyshire County Council, Conservative Group Opposition Leader Barry Lewis, walked away from Cabinet after not being allowed to answer questions put to him by the Leader and Deputy Leader of Labour.  Last year, the Cabinet decided that the opposition leaders would not be able to ask unsolicited questions, nor have any right of reply, unlike members of the public who do have this right.

New Group Leader Elected for Derbyshire Conservatives

This morning at their AGM Derbyshire County Council Conservative Group elected a new Leader, Cllr Barry Lewis, following the European elections last week, which saw their current Leader Councillor Andrew Lewer MBE elected as a MEP for the East Midlands. Councillor Lewis said," I relish this opportunity and looking forward to challenging Labour on a range of issues, including their sluggish and damaging progress in making difficult decisions, designed to appease the Unions and minimise bad news before the General Election next year and which could ultimately see this authority bankrupted."

Derbyshire Conservative Leader Andrew Lewer Elected MEP for East Midlands

Following the European Elections on Thursday, former Conservative Leader of Derbyshire County Council Andrew Lewer was elected as one of two Conservative MEPs to Brussels on Sunday night. In a result that saw Labour beaten into second place in North East Derbyshire and almost beaten in Bolsover, their heartlands, by UKIP, Conservatives once again returned two MEPS in the East Midlands.

Slow Labour Will Fail to Save

Derbyshire Labour increasingly show that they are on target to fail to meet savings of £157m. Papers to Cabinet continually highlight that they will fail to meet in-year savings targets, instead pushing the savings further into the future, critically 2015/16. 

How our warnings were ignored

For many months now, my Conservative Group has been warning that politically motivated delays to implementing Extra Care plans could lead to disaster. Extra Care was a vision that the 2009-13 Administration had brought on speedily, and was to give hundreds of older people in Derbyshire independence and dignity in an affordable and innovative way. I am disappointed, but not surprised - given how our warnings were ignored - that the contract between Derbyshire County Council and housing provider Housing 21 is now being terminated. Bad news too for the Derbyshire economy, as the whole Extra Care package represented many, many millions of pounds of investment into our economy and would have created and supported large numbers of local jobs. The Cabinet Report reads that this termination “…provides the Council with an opportunity to shape the future…”. For those of you who do not speak “local government” that means “We have missed a huge opportunity and now we do not know what to do.”

Poor record of Derbyshire County Council since Labour took control and this poorly worded motion

The Prime Minister himself, only a few days ago, highlighted the poor record of Derbyshire County Council since Labour took control last year and this poorly worded motion was yet another example of their hard left and unconstructive approach. This coupled with legal advice only being given at the start of the meeting itself, thus not giving us time to question it in detail, led to the Conservative Group walking out of the Council Chamber. Council meetings have turned into tedious propaganda exercises over the last year. The absence of the public and the press shows they have voted with their feet.