CAMBS: Lib Dems believe unseated Tory high flyer may have paid the price for guided bus
PUBLISHED: 10:42 08 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 28 May 2010
By John Elworthy LIB Dems claimed that East Cambs businessman Mat Bradney, one of the most influential figures at Shire Hall, has paid the price for public disquiet over the guided bus. Mr Bradney, a former Conservative councillor for Cottenham, Histon a
By John Elworthy
LIB Dems claimed that East Cambs businessman Mat Bradney, one of the most influential figures at Shire Hall, has paid the price for public disquiet over the guided bus.
Mr Bradney, a former Conservative councillor for Cottenham, Histon and Impington, sensationally lost his seat in Thursday's elections to Cambridgeshire County Council.
Mr Bradney had been one of the Tories most high profile council leaders and in December 2007 became it youngest ever Cabinet members.
He was handed what may well be regarded as a poisoned chalice by being given the growth and infrastructure portfolio which includes not only the guided bus but also the thorny issue of congestion charges.
Councillor David Jenkins retained his Cottenham seat for the Lib Dems and celebrated as the second seat went to newcomer Sue Gymer, pushing Mat Bradney into third place.
As the Lib Dems explained, it was a humbling result.
The result, announced after the narrowness of the vote between Mr Bradney and Councillor Gymer prompted a recount, was one of the few political upsets of the day.
Cllr Jenkins said afterwards that he didn't think the guided bus was "irrelevant in what happened. There is still a lot of resentment about the scheme."
He added: "I am flattered to be re-elected. Having been a councillor for four years I have learnt the job and intend to be a better one going forward.
"I am also excited to be working with Sue Gymer so that we can give an even better service to the people of Cottenham, Histon and Impington".
Mr Bradney had been a councillor since 2005, and remains a councillor on Cottenham Parish Council. He is the son of a former Mayor of Ely, Cllr Ron Bradney, who also sits on East Cambs District Council.
Earlier this year Mat Bradney argued that the one thing everybody seems to agree on is that congestion is a major problem and with a further 58,000 new homes in the pipeline for the Cambridge sub region, congestion will get even worse.
"We need to jointly come up with an innovative strategy to deal with this challenge." he said. "There won't be any one easy solution but somehow we need to find a way to transform public transport and change people's travel habits.
"We have ambitious plans for growth in housing, jobs and in economic terms but only by us all working together to tackle the congestion problem, will we achieve our overall goals of a thriving and prosperous county."
Council Leader Jill Tuck will now need to pick a new councillor to steer that ambition through to fruition