Conservatives and Lib Dems dispute over new CDC road signs

MONEY spent on new road signs is the topic of a dispute that broke out between Conservative and Lib Dem councillors in the cotswolds.

Lib Dem leader Joe Harris defended the party after members of the opposition Conservatives questioned the wisdom of putting the CDC (Cotswold District Council) logo on street signs across the Cotswolds, while at the same time the administration is spending £75,000 of taxpayers money to replace Cotswold District Council with two larger unitary solutions.

As part of a civic pride agenda to be laid out by the Lib Dem administration over the next few weeks, it’s proposed that all streets signs that need replacing are upgraded with a new sign which is also furnished with the CDC logo and the name of the relevant parish.

Therefore, Cllr Gina Blomefield (Conservative – Chipping Campden) asked a written question to the leader of the council as to why CDC were spending taxpayers money and pressing ahead with plans to put the council’s logo on street signs, when at the same time his administration is investing £75,000 to lobby for CDC to be replaced with a larger partnership with fellow Liberal controlled Cheltenham Town Council and with Stroud District Council (which is currently in no overall control).

Cllr Blomefield said, “It just seems a waste of time, effort and taxpayers money to be putting our council logo on street signs, while at the same time the leader of the council is using £75,000 of our residents’ money to lobby for a new authority to be set up. We are facing a second wave of COVID-19 and our council budget is being pushed to its limits, so I am not sure this is a good use of time or resources. It is possible that these new tailor-made signs could soon become a historic memento of the Cotswold District Council.”

In response to the written question, Cllr Joe Harris gave the following written response, “The new street sign design will include the council’s crest and the locality or parish, not the ward name. This is being done as part of the administration’s civic pride agenda which I’ll be providing more information on in the coming weeks. I’d welcome the Conservative group’s input into this and I’ve been trying to catch up with the leader of the Conservative group on this but unfortunately he’s been very hard to get hold of.

“In terms of delaying any roll out, my administration is not going to allow the Conservative Government’s flip flopping on devolution and local government reform to affect day to day services at Cotswold District Council including the roll out of street name plates.”

“In the interests of accuracy, I should also clarify that we’ve begun discussions with Stroud and Cheltenham about options for a two unitary solution in Gloucestershire not about creating a unitary authority with both of them as you’ve implied in your question.”

Councillor Richard Morgan, leader of the opposition Conservative group said,

“I am sorry that Cllr Harris feels he has struggled to get hold of me to discuss this issue. He has my personal mobile number and I am always curious and willing to discuss his ideas about how his Lib Dem administration will be spending more residents’ money on non-essential projects”.

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