Independent and Conservative Group Statement to the Annual Meeting of the City Council, May 24th 2012
Cllr Meftah and Cllr Hipkin declare themselves co-members of the third group on the City Council, the Independent and Conservative group.
We have resolved to work together in a spirit of friendly co-operation and to consider together all the major issues that confront the City Council. Where we can agree we shall vote as a group. Where we differ, we shall agree to differ.
We are deeply concerned that a hung council raises the prospect of a long period of ineffectual and indecisive government of the city. Our immediate fear is that the need for deep savings in the revenue budget will be fudged or neglected as the main parties bicker and manoeuvre for advantage.
We call upon the Lib-Dem and Labour Groups to join with us in drawing up a Concordat of basic principles for the stewardship of the council over the next two years. Proposals for addressing budget deficits should be an essential part of the Concordat and we suggest that groups be required to come up with proposals for savings commensurate with their numerical strength. Such proposals should be accepted as a starting point for budgetary planning over the next two years.
As members respectively of the Licensing and Planning Committees we shall be diligent in monitoring proposals for the granting and extending of licences to taxis and entertainment venues and for the sale of alcohol throughout the city. We shall also play an active part in the Local Plan Review to ensure that future plans for the development of the city abandon crude quantitative criteria in favour of a quality and sustainability agenda. We shall ensure that Trumpington and Castle residents’ views are strongly represented in all determinations of proposals for major developments, such as the possible relocation of the Cambridge United FC stadium. We shall also argue that S106 money is spent within a specified time span and on behalf of the communities most likely to be impacted by the relevant developments.
To further good governance and co-ordinated development we shall press for stronger co-operation between the partner authorities responsible for the development of the Cambridge sub-region and for a clearer articulation of the city’s interests in all inter-authority deliberations.
As signatories to the formation of the Independent and Conservative group we intend to demonstrate that, when local councillors put people before politics, they can achieve great things on behalf of those they represent. We call upon our fellow councillors, of whatever party, to co-operate in a similar way on behalf of their communities.
Cllr John Hipkin (Group Leader, Independent)
Cllr Shapour Meftah (Conservative)