A member of Cheltenham Against Cuts was amongst those who received an email from Councillor John Webster (the council’s Cabinet Member for Finance) today in which he informs us he won`t be standing for re-election next year. He writes:
After two terms of office and having been a Cabinet member for 6 of those 8 years, I don’t intend to stand for re-election in 2012, and have told the Lib Dem Group this. Most of the objectives I set out to achieve have been achieved – and it’s time I had a proper retirement.
My original intention was to move in with my partner who lives very close to Coronation Square, just outside the ward and just reduce the time I spent on political activity – but a number of things have meant this hasn’t been possible.
I will be involved in choosing my successor who will have a hard fight on their hands in 2012. St Marks is by no means a safe ward given the way that many voters have been alienated by the coalition. I will not give support to any candidate that I don’t believe will be up to it.
Meanwhile, I will continue to work as always and l thank you very much for all the help you have given me over the years.
So what did he achieve? We wonder if he always had a burning ambition to close Cheltenham`s public toilets, but here are some of the other things he might like to take credit for:
- Taking 8 years to expand the range of waste residents can recycle in their weekly (soon to be fortnightly) waste collection.
- Loosing control of the Highways Maintenance Budget
- Building on allotments
- Handing over the North Street area to a PFI (Private Finance Initiative) deal.
He writes of his own St.Marks ward that “many voters have been alienated by the coalition”. In correspondence with us he has defended the coalition`s cuts programme, not even taking the opportunity to join Martin Horwood on his belated bandwagon ride to “Save Hesters Way Library!”. His arrogance and ignorance shine through, but most disturbing of all is that he is clearly economically illiterate.