Greens boycott council briefing

SUFFOLK: Green members of the county council are set to boycott a training session aimed at telling them how cuts to funding will affect their constituents.

Mark Ereira-Guyer has already written to the county to tell them he will not be attending any of the four training sessions while group leader Andrew Stringer said he could not see the point in a meeting dominated by “management-speak”.

The county is holding four training sessions for councillors in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

An invitation from senior councillor Colin Spence says: “In recognising that people are to be at the heart of directing resources and making decisions, and to enable and empower you in influencing the delivery of the New Strategic Direction (NSD) on this basis, the Councillor Learning and Development Reference Group has engaged with the Local Government Leadership Centre to put together a programme of support for you.”

Mr Ereira-Guyer wrote back saying: “The Suffolk County Council leadership is then making an ideological choice as expressed by the NSD and being led by the nose by a reckless coalition government to which I owe no allegiance to at all.

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“I am afraid that I won’t be able to participate.”

Mr Stringer has not ruled out taking part – but could not see the point of the sessions.

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He said: “You only have to look at the language they’re using – these sessions are not designed to be inclusive for all councillors. They are only designed for those who use management gobbledegook!”

Labour group leader Sandy Martin said he would be taking part in a session to find out what the New Strategic Direction was about.

He said: “As councillors one of our responsibilities is to explain to people what the council’s policies are. As an opposition councillor I will naturally be critical of some of those policies – but you have to have the knowledge to be able to criticise them.”

n Is there any point to the training sessions? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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