Having listened to feedback from residents, traders and businesses Conservatives put forward a plan to use funds from the Conservative Government to protect our town centres. Last night they were sensationally voted down by Labour.
Cllr Kris Wilson, Leader of the Opposition (Whitestone), said:
“We put forward a fully costed and measured plan that could literally make the difference for town centre traders and businesses to survive Christmas. Covid has impacted our high streets hard, and as a council we should be doing everything we can to boost them in the greatest national crisis since the war.”
Proposals put forward by the Conservatives included:
- Free town centre car parking in December and January
- Free rents for our regular market traders in December, with reductions in January and February
- Rent relief for council town centre properties from December to February
Cllr Wilson continued:
“Labour have shown a complete lack of leadership over this issue. They have literally turned their backs on our residents and businesses and are happy to let them sink due to Covid. In the week that Debenhams has been put into liquidation, Labour should have been supporting our plans, not rejecting them.
“The support we put forward helped shoppers, protected traders, backed business and supported jobs. Rather than see their way to supporting a Conservative proposal, they took the cowards way out and abandoned our towns. Any further closures or job losses in our towns are the responsibility of this failing Labour council.”
Cllr Clare Golby, Deputy Leader of the Opposition also condemned Labour’s abandonment of our town centres:
“Every Labour councillor, especially the ones who represent Nuneaton and Bedworth Town Centres, who claim they're 100% for this borough, last night showed every resident and business that they absolutely are not. Whenever it comes down to it, no matter what these Labour Councillors say, they'll never break ranks and always put the Labour party before residents.
“We literally did the Labour Leadership’s work for them, worked out a plan, worked up the costings identified where the funds could come from and despite all this, they still rejected it. If people want pro-active and relevant leadership of this council then they must Vote Conservative at the next election.”
The proposals were ultimately defeated on the Labour Mayor’s casting vote.
Cllr Golby concluded:
“It’s unbelievable that the Labour leader publicly said it wouldn’t be moral to help people when she has presided over a large chain like Poundland only paying £1 a year rent. I also fully expect the Labour Leader to reconsider their position on this and bow to the enormous public pressure. People are quite rightly angry.”