Ian Swithenbank, Chairperson
Grant Davey, Leader
Val Tyler, Deputy
Robert Arckless, Secretary
Northumberland NE61 2EF
Telephone (01670) 533000
Fax (01670) 533072
Calls for Tory Leader to get a grip on ‘fractured party’
‘The illegal motion was a major embarrassment for Tory leader and he should sack rogue Deputy’.
A split has emerged in the Conservative group over a controversial motion put forward by Deputy Leader Glenn Sanderson to ‘drastically cut subsidies to the renewable energy sector’ across the county sparking fears that this will send out the wrong message to the growing ‘green sector’ in the county. Five Conservative councillors abstained on Councillor Sanderson’s motion and Conservative group leader Peter Jackson was disqualified from attendance at the meeting because of past controversial applications for wind turbines on his own land. Councillor Grant Davey, leader of the Labour group described the row as a further example of ‘fracture and split on the issue of wind turbines’.
In what is being seen as a thinly veiled attack on Councillor Jackson, Councillor Jackson said ‘I feel a great deal of members should feel ashamed of themselves of themselves for taking the easy way out and not taking leadership’. Fellow Conservative and senior Hexham Conservative Terry Robson was one of Sanderson’s group who abstained on the motion. Councillor Jackson has been involved in two planning applications for wind turbines on his own land in the county.
Labour Leader Grant Davey said
‘We’re gobsmacked at the comments by Councillor Sanderson which show just how deep fractured in the county Conservative party is. Councillor Sanderson has now gone on record describing fellow Conservatives as ‘shameful’ and their decision to abstain from his illegal motion as one they should be ‘ashamed of’. Surely he can’t carry on as Deputy Leader and this is a major test of leadership for Councillor Jackson, his leader. This motion was anti- growth and anti-jobs and it has undermined the leadership of Peter Jackson. Just what is Councillor Sanderson playing at?
Notes for Editors
- Please read page 11 of today’s Journal where Deputy Leader was reported to be ‘angered’ and described his colleagues as ‘shameful’.
- Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member Arthur Pegg labelled Councillor Sanderson as ‘opportunistic and hypocritical’