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Ex-mayor blasts the city’s Labour leaders
A WELL-KNOWN former Worcester politician has blasted the city’s new Labour leadership – saying they had no right to take control of the council.
Mike Layland, who stepped down from the Guildhall last year after 43 years service, said: “If people wanted a Labour council, they’d have voted for them at an election.”
The outspoken former mayor also told your Worcester News he “isn’t happy with the way it was handled” and that he is concerned about the city “going backwards”. It follows May’s shock Labour coup, in which the party teamed up with the Liberal Democrats and lone Green Councillor Neil Laurenson to dump the Tories from power for the first time in 13 years.
Mr Layland entered politics in 1966 as a Labour councillor but went on to leave the party after disagreements with fellow councillors. He said: “I wasn’t very happy with the way it was handled, to be perfectly honest.
“If people wanted a Labour council, they’d have voted for them at an election.
“Simon Geraghty (former Tory council leader) and his team did a marvellous job, they froze the rates, got on with things and if it all ends up going backwards, that would be a real shame.”
The criticism has been rejected by the Labour cabinet, which says it does not want to re-open old arguments with him.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, city council leader, said: “Mike Layland left the council some time ago and is no longer in touch with what’s going on. We are operating in conjunction with other political parties to promote development, highlight the need for more affordable homes, help encourage opportunities in the jobs market and upskill people. We prefer to look forwards, not backwards.”
The new administration recently approved £125,000 worth of investment towards a new science block for Worcester Sixth Form College. It also wants to give all low paid city council staff the Living Wage of at least £7.45 an hour, which is expected to kick in from January, and has teamed up with County Hall in a bid to sell the Cornmarket car park/ Trinity House to a developer for retail and leisure.
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