Conservatives pull out of cabinet meetings in protest

THE CONSERVATIVE party in Hastings has pulled out of all future cabinet meetings saying they presence is a waste of time.

Group leader, councillor Robert Cooke said the move would save the taxpayer around £9,000 a year.

At present, there are only three Conservatives on the Cabinet committee, cllr Cooke, Andrew Gurney and Peter Finch.

There are six Labour members.

Cllr Cooke was elected as the youngest ever Tory leader in Hastings last May at the age of 33.

It followed a poor showing in the local elections when they lost four seats including that of its leader Matthew Lock.

Mr Lock subsequently lost his seat at the East Sussex County Council elections last week.

The last time the party vetoed Cabinet was 12 years ago.

He said: “Being on Cabinet gives the impression that we are endorsing Labour’s decisions even when we vote against them.

“We are the oppostion. Our job is to oppose constructively and to hold the administration to account.

“We believe we can do this best through the Audit and Scrutiny process and at Full Council.

“It frees all nine Conservative councillors to strengthen our connections to the community and to listen to what Hastings is telling us.

“This will enable us to develop the policy and manifesto that Hastings and St Leonards want.

“I’ve never liked the Cabinet system, I don’t think it works. We took it to the party and they agree with us.

“I feel it’s a wast of time for opposition being present at Cabinet meetings.

“We feel like we’re made the scapegoat for when things don’t work or go wrong.

“It’s a very worthwhile saving to the taxpayer because with just three of us there we can achieve very little.”