Cllr Kris Wilson is the Leader of the Conservative Group on Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Since taking Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council to no overall control in May 2018, local Conservatives have been taking the fight to Labour and promoting the policies that our successful manifesto put forward at the last election.

Unfortunately, Labour can force their will through on the basis of the Mayor’s casting vote, but this hasn’t stopped us. Indeed, we have kept Labour debating for over five and a half hours on one night,

Issues we have championed include:

  • A Local Authority Mortgage Scheme to help young first-time buyers in our area get on the housing ladder
  • A fair and transparent process for developing our local plan, which has been formed in secret and taken an unfair proportion of development from our neighbouring authorities
  • Calling for a Borough-wide injunction against illegal traveller incursions
  • Regenerating our town centres with support for a Business Improvement District for Nuneaton and pledging to fund high street regeneration
  • Challenging a £2 million overspend on a new council depot

Needless to say, local Labour has not taken kindly to being challenged at every available opportunity. When local residents have voiced legitimate concerns over illegal traveller incursions the responsible portfolio holder called then “brain dead”, showing the contempt that they have for hard-working people in Nuneaton and Bedworth.

Their former leader had been in power for over 30 years, almost as long as Mugabe, and now they have resorted to forcing changes to the rules that would not be out of place in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Just because they cannot debate they are amending the rules of debate to suit them.

Changes include:

  • No supplementary questions to portfolio holders
  • No motions following questions to the portfolio holder
  • No recorded votes on attempts to shut down debate
  • Any member who challenges the Mayor’s ruling on points of debate can be barred from speaking or removed

Interpreting rules of debate has never been Labour’s strong point, but a number of mayors we have had would make Speaker Bercow look impartial.

The Town Hall at Nuneaton and Bedworth desperately needs change. We need a new administration with fresh ideas to take our towns forward. We came tantalisingly close last year.

We are already planning our campaign for May 2020 and with one more push, the residents of Nuneaton and Bedworth can finally get the ambitious Conservative council that we so desperately need to take us forward.