Local News

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."

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."