• Hugo votes in favour of crippling cuts to Devon County Council

    13th February 2015 | News | Claire
  • Claire Wright, the Devon County Councillor and Independent candidate running against the current MP, Hugo Swire at the General Election, challenged her opponent last week. She reminded him that his website claimed that he would “speak up and vote for the people of East Devon”.

    She invited him to speak up when the House of Commons decided on Council Budget cuts for the next financial year. The leader of the Conservative-led Devon County Council, which has secured savings of £128 million since 2009, had warned that further cuts of £50 million will have to be made in the next financial year and another £34 million in the following year.

    “But during the debate on Tuesday 10th February, Mr Swire was apparently unable to find his voice to defend the thousands of residents who will be severely affected by the latest sets of budget cuts.

    “He voted in favour of the crippling cuts to Devon County Council and was silent during the debate.

    The council funding debate came just hours after Mr Swire and his colleagues attended a Conservative party election fundraiser where tables could be booked for £15,000 each and which raised over £2 million. “When you failed to utter a word for your constituents in a crucial debate, is it any wonder that thousands are asking “how are we all in this together?” 

    “Mr Swire, you have voted for council cuts without even making an argument on behalf of your constituents. You cannot be accused of inconsistency: another year, more massive cuts and once again, you have totally ignored the wishes of your hard-pressed constituents. You remained a mute minister. Do you care? It is understandable why so many local voters will vote for change and for someone who does really stand up for the local people, in practice, not just via PR type slogans on a website. Action, not meaningless words, is required and you have let down all the voters in East Devon by failing to speak on their behalf as you said you would do. Presumably, you will remove that empty promise from your website? 

    “Even in election year, it appears that you are not brave enough to utter a word on behalf of your constituents many of whom have long since given up on you because you have consistently ignored them and the problems in East Devon, many of which have been created by the Conservative-led East Devon District Council.

    “Mr Swire, your actions are regarded here in East Devon, that’s your constituency, as cowardly and callously indifferent to local people’s needs.” 

    Devon County Council will vote on its newest and most crippling budget yet on Thursday 19th February.