Wednesday, August 4, 2010

East Chesterton Councillor Resigns

Siep Wijsenbeek has resigned as county councillor for East Chesterton. A by-election is expected on 16 September.

The current make-up of the county council is:

42 Conservative
22 Liberal Democrat
2 Labour
1 Green
1 Vacancy

But of the county councillors within the city boundaries:

10 Liberal Democrat
2 Labour
1 Green
1 Vacancy

This by-election will be a great opportunity to elect a Conservative onto the county council from within the city. It would be hugely beneficial for Cambridge residents to be represented by at least one councillor in the ruling group on the county council. All the other city-based councillors who were present at the TIF vote last year voted for congestion charging - they clearly cannot be relied-upon to stand up for Cambridge's interests.

Cambridge Conservatives' James Strachan gave the Lib Dems the closest run at the last county council election in East Chesterton while Kevin Francis has been a close second in recent city council elections there.


Equinox said...

Why can they not be trusted to stand up for Cambridge's interests?

I've stated in previous comments that the two-tier nature of local government in Cambridge means that on issues such as transport, where the interests of people living outside of Cambridge differ from those living inside Cambridge, it will be the interests of the latter which will prevail due to a greater number of councillors.

I wouldn't expect councillors from outside of Cambridge to vote for congestion charging - they'd be voting for a charge they'd have to pay for. Those of us who live along congested roads (me being on Cherry Hinton Road) would stand to benefit.

As for the non-financial merits of congestion charging, a decent alternative does need to be in place for it to work if congestion charging is going to have the effect of reducing congestion.

Andrew Bower said...

Hi Equinox,

We obviously don't agree on congestion charging and I am sure I have explained before why I believe it is a worse solution than doing nothing.

However, the point is that we have found Cambridge residents to be overwhelmingly against congestion charging yet none of their elected representatives on the county council are prepared to vote in line with that view...