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Tories damn Bore with faint praise, Labour MEP says Birmingham’s problems ‘grave’

Tories damn Bore with faint praise, Labour MEP says Birmingham’s problems ‘grave’

🕔14.Oct 2015

Birmingham’s opposition Conservative group leader Robert Alden has paid tribute to Sir Albert Bore’s “distinguished” record at the centre of Birmingham politics, but also accused the council leader of “leaving the city in poor health”.

In a statement commenting on his decision to stand down in December, Cllr Alden declared that Sir Albert should be thanked for his “sacrifice” over a 35-year council career and for overseeing “much investment in the city centre”.

However, Alden sought to move the political debate on to the city council elections in May 2016 when he hopes the Tories will make severe inroads into Labour’s majority.

Cllr Alden said:

Birmingham doesn’t just need a change of leader it needs a total change of direction and style. Birmingham deserves to be even greater but to get that real change residents will have to wait until the May elections.

Attacking Sir Albert and his cabinet colleagues personally, Cllr Alden said:

“He leaves the City in a poor health. A lack of leadership by the whole Labour cabinet has led to the systematic problems now facing Birmingham.

“The lack of vision for our city, failing children services, lack of support for suburban communities, increase in litter, stumbling combined authority negotiations and many other problems have been caused by the lack of leadership from every single cabinet member in Birmingham.

“A change in leader will make no difference to Birmingham at all if it is just a continuation of the same failed policies that have got the city into this mess in the first place.

“Birmingham is a great city, it should be a united city, a city that strives for aspiration, that gives residents security and give peoples hopes opportunities to flourish.”

On the other side of the political divide, West Midlands MEP Sion Simon praised Sir Albert’s “statesmanlike” decision to resign, which was in the best interests of Birmingham.

Mr Simon added:

“Fresh leadership is always needed eventually, and Albert has had the wisdom to realise this. Great credit accrues to him, as it does for a lifetime of public service in the adopted city of which he will go down as one of the great leaders.”

Mr Simon went on to describe Birmingham’s problems as “grave.” He said:

Our problems remain grave and our untapped potential enormous. Labour and the City needs a new leader. And that new leader needs to take us to a new place, in which our region catches up with the devolution long enjoyed by other parts of the country.

It’s no coincidence that our relative reluctance to embrace devolution has coincided with such serious problems in local government.

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