TORY OUTBURST: Sooner Lib Dems are finished the better says Nick Clarke and independents “have even less impact”

CCC Cabinet members and invited guests at the Archant's business breakfast in Wisbech. CCC leader Ni

CCC Cabinet members and invited guests at the Archant's business breakfast in Wisbech. CCC leader Nick Clarke. - Credit: Archant

CAMBS Tory leader Nick Clarke today described Lib Dems as “a nice party but without any moral compass whatsoever” and remarked that “independents claim everything, oppose everything and cannot deliver anything.”

Virginia Bucknor with police on a day of action

Virginia Bucknor with police on a day of action - Credit: Archant

In a frenzy of blogging, Councillor Clarke – hoping to retain his seat in next month’s local elections and increase the Conservative majority- also said of the Lib Dems that “the sooner they are finished the better.”

United they stand: from left, Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Cllr Nick Clarke, Stephen Barclay

United they stand: from left, Cambridgeshire County Council Leader Cllr Nick Clarke, Stephen Barclay MP and Fenland District Council’s Deputy Leader and Leader, Cllrs Chris Seaton and Alan Melton. - Credit: Archant

Cllr Clarke used another of his blogs to support Councillor Samantha Hoy who is facing a robust challenge in Wisbech from independent Virginia Bucknor.

Oasis Community Centre, Wisbech annual Family Fun Day, Cllr Virginia Bucknor has a go at decorating

Oasis Community Centre, Wisbech annual Family Fun Day, Cllr Virginia Bucknor has a go at decorating a cake. - Credit: Archant

“The reality is the minority parties have little influence or ability to do very much. “Independents have even less impact as appointment to committees is by proportionality to the number of members in a group.”

Wisbech Mayor Jonathan Farmer gives CCC leader Nick Clarke a guided tour of Wisbech Town Centre

Wisbech Mayor Jonathan Farmer gives CCC leader Nick Clarke a guided tour of Wisbech Town Centre - Credit: Archant

He said: “Independents tend to get frustrated and rely on single issues to keep themselves busy.

The official launch of the micro library, opened by Cllr Samantha Hoy and Cllr Virginia Bucknor, Fro

The official launch of the micro library, opened by Cllr Samantha Hoy and Cllr Virginia Bucknor, From Left: Jakki Racey, Cllr Virginia Bucknor, Cllr Samantha Hoy and Wendy Stevenson. - Credit: Archant


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“Practically, Independents, as the name suggests, are not team players. So, why does this matter? Let me give you an example.

“The A47 upgrade is a big issue for Wisbech. As the Conservative Leader I chose to get two of my hard working fellow Conservatives involved in the A47 collaborative work with Norfolk. This makes sense as they understand the local issues and as part of my group I have trust in them.

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“If an Independent was elected in Wisbech they would not be part of the A47 work so instantly Wisbech would have lost its voice on that important project. Nobody gains.”

Cllr Clarke said it used to be said that an independent “can stick up for local people better. That is not true. All that happens is more noise is made and nothing happens.”

He added: “I’m afraid the days of noise and posturing are long gone. Now it is all about action and getting things done within a reducing budget. Independents are not able to get anything done.”

Cllr Clarke added: “Voting for an Independent is a wasted vote, unless it is a hung council of course!”

Virginia Bucknor, an independent town and district councillor now standing for county council, declined to comment on Cllr Clarke’s attack. Her associates did, however, point out that partly as a result of her efforts through community campaigning the A47 is now a major issue despite Cllr Clarke telling the 20/20 Wisbech Vision group it would not be dealt with for 15-20 years.

Cllr Bucknor is also a member of the A47 North Cambridge transport group set up by the Tories and is Fenland’s representative on Cambridgeshire Future Transport group.

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