A RECENT letter criticised Conservative councillors for abstaining on the vote for the leader of the council, thus allowing Coun Khan to continue in that post. I want to set the record straight, and particularly to reassure our supporters that we did the right thing.
Coun Khan’s Labour group have 32 councillors out of 69 – by far the largest group. In order to deprive Labour of the administration, all other parties would have had to come together to form an alternative administration.
It became clear in the days before the annual council meeting there was not enough common ground between the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Greens and Independents to form such an alliance. In particular, we could not justify to our supporters any coalition with the far-left “Independents” or the LibDems who voted for the release of so much of our Green Belt for industry, and who would have held us to ransom over the issue.
Sadly, we could not form a majority to overturn the LDF.
It became clear that only Coun Khan could command an administration, and there was no point in voting against this, as there was no alternative on the table.
Unlike the minor groups, who have taken the stance of whingeing from the sidelines, we have pledged to offer a critical but constructive opposition to Labour. Where we agree we will support; where we disagree we will oppose. That’s the common sense residents deserve from politicians.
We hold several key positions of influence in the council, and we will be using these as our supporters expect we should.
The Conservative group punches above its weight. Contrast this with the minor parties who make much noise, but ultimately achieve very little.
COUN DAVID HALL
Deputy Leader, Kirklees Conservative Group
Councillor, Liversedge and Gomersal ward