Lib Dem chief slams leader meetings

BRENTWOOD Council’s opposition leader has quit a set of monthly meetings with other party leaders.

Lib Dem leader David Kendall will no longer attend the opposition group leader meetings as he feels Conservative council leader, Louise McKinlay, is ignoring issues brought up there.

The meetings were set up to allow Mr Kendall and Labour leader Mike Le-Surf to discuss plans for the borough with Mrs McKinlay.

However, Mr Kendall feels the talks have been “fruitless”.

He said: “I have tried to make a positive contribution and tried to get the leader to listen to the concerns residents have raised through their Lib Dem councillors.

“Sadly, this has often been in vain and I haven’t found most of the meetings either helpful or informative.

“Furthermore, I have been unimpressed and disappointed with Mrs McKinlay’s conduct with members and handling of a number of issues such as William Hunter Way, the Royal British Legion Youth Band and the Town Hall Delivery group.”

He added he will continue to attend monthly meetings with Alison Crowe, the council’s managing director.

Mrs McKinlay said she was disappointed and would like to discuss Mr Kendall’s concerns. She said: “The meeting is intended to allow the leaders of the three political groups on Brentwood Council to have sensible conversations about issues affecting all parties.

“I accept Mr Kendall’s job as opposition leader is to challenge the administration’s actions. However, I believe he has a responsibility to his residents, councillors and party to keep abreast of matters affecting the council and its business.”

Labour group leader Mr Le-Surf said he would continue to attend the meetings.

Mr Le-Surf said: “I can understand David’s frustration. “On behalf of the residents of the borough who hope for a different way forward however, I will continue to attend and make my opinions known.”

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