There was a prolonged and hostile debate at last night’s meeting of Telford & Wrekin Council on a motion by the Conservative group calling for the merger of Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council.
Much of what passed for debate was political mudslinging and frankly outrageous claims from both sides culminating in a speech by deputy leader of the council, Richard Overton, in which he seemed to declare Shropshire Council as the enemy and the whole of county outside of Telford & Wrekin’s boundary bandit territory, ready to rape and pillage the borough and take the spoils back to Shrewsbury. Neither side really offered any facts to justify their position and the vote predictably divided along party lines with the motion falling as expected.
UKIP Parish Councillor for Brookside, Stuart Parr, said:
We see the rest of Shropshire as our friends and neighbours, not the enemy as Labour seem to. Holding both Labour and the Conservatives in equal contempt gives us a much more balanced perspective on our relationship with Shropshire Council the Labour and Conservative groups on both councils. We look forward to working closely with Shropshire Council on areas of mutual benefit after the 2015 elections, following which we expect to at least hold the balance of power at Telford & Wrekin Council.
UKIP Telford & Wrekin agreed at a recent meeting to adopt a policy of holding a binding referendum on merging the two authorities should a serious proposal for it ever come to the council chamber. This is in line with both the party and Telford & Wrekin branch’s commitment to direct democracy where people get a say on the important decisions affecting their lives.
Wellington Town Councillor and Chairman of UKIP Telford & Wrekin, Denis Allen, said:
We had our own lively debate at our branch meeting and it was clear that there are obvious advantages and disadvantages to the idea of merging with Shropshire Council. The consensus was broadly against the idea of merging the two authorities but we felt it was important that the people of Telford & Wrekin were the ones who ultimately made that decision.