Thursday, 21 October 2010
Brighton and Hove Tories forced to retreat on Connexions....then throw a hissy fit!
Brighton and Hove's Conservative councillors demonstrated at tonights City Council meeting how badly they respond to pressure after they were forced to concede the referral back of their proposed massive cuts to the Connexions service.
Clearly rattled by the fact that they knew they were outvoted and faced with a packed and hostile public gallery, they responded with a quite appalling display of snide remarks and veiled threats.
A taste of what was to come was apparent during an earlier debate on a deputation about the proposed Portslade Academy. In her response, Cllr Vanessa Brown, Children's Services Cabinet Member, proceeded to "tell off" the member of the public leading the deputation for daring to question the qualifications of Academy sponsor, Rod Aldridge, to run a school - clearly not something she had ever considered doing!
But they really hit their stride in the Connexions debate. We had Tories attacking Connexions staff personally, including the quite scurrilous accusation that staff were "forcing" service users to write testimonials for them - an outrageous attack on their professional integrity.
Then, in a speech by Council Leader Mary Mears, we were treated to what appeared to be a veiled threat to take away trade union facility time. This had nothing to do with the issue under discussion, but Mary is clearly frustrated at how effectively the unions are resisting the cuts.
The whole unpleasant affair was rounded off by a blustering speech by a hitherto anonymous councillor called Tony Janio who simply ranted at everyone.
Then they all went and had dinner!
The Tories' finest hour.......not!
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