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Will Tory council leaders join attack on Pickles?

After the Lib Dem council leaders letter to The Times, the media are understandably sniffing around to see if some Conservative Council leaders can be persuaded to break ranks and criticise Eric Pickles and the grant cuts.

Thus far the results have proved unspectacular. However the Financial Times reports (£) a couple of examples. You will always be able to persuade any council leader at any time to say that their council is unfairly treated. Cllr Peter Callow, the Conservative leader of Blackpool, says so with particular frequency and is quited again in the FT.

But they also have Cllr Kevin Carroll, Conservative cabinet member for finance in Torbay, complaining about "front loading".

Also I'm afraid that Cllr Anne Millward, the Conservative leader of Dudley borough council, parrots Labour's line that a council facing grant cuts from central Government has to recoup the money by a cut in funding to voluntary groups.

She says:

“My big issue is with David Cameron saying he wants a “Big Society” and voluntary groups, but at the same time cutting our settlements. That then has a knock-on effect on the voluntary sector. We rely on these people, but in two or three years’ time they may not be there because they can’t survive.”

It could have that "knock on effect". Or Cllr Millward could the same effort many of fellow Conservative council leaders are making and find alternatives.


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