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Results tagged “tim sawdon” from Coventry Telegraph - Talking Politics

FOR some of his Labour council colleagues, it was the moment George Duggins morphed into Tory chancellor George Osborne.

The Coventry City Council deputy leader stood up at a council meeting and launched a dismissive counter-attack against this newspaper's revelations about the council's contracted bailiff firms.

The man who since 2010 has pledged a Labour council would protect the most vulnerable Coventrians from coalition government austerity cuts was now wading into the vulnerable.

At its worst, the often highly capable Duggins' address slurred the vulnerable people whose cases we highlighted - including one in which the council had previous admitted to us inappropriate "errors" by its bailiffs.

Two of Coun Duggins' Labour cabinet colleagues privately told me many Labour councillors were amazed by the "ineptitude" of his response.

THERE'S already been blood and thunder ahead of May's referendum on whether Coventry people want an elected mayor to replace the traditional council leader's post.

A bruising fight is on, and the media's been caught in the crossfire.

Comic relief came with memorable jokes, as councillors across the political divide opposed the pro-mayor government which is forcing Coventry to hold the referendum.

Eleven of 15 Tory councillors disagreed with David Cameron and their pro-mayor local leader Kevin Foster. He's not ruled out standing to be Coventry City Council's first elected mayor - if people first vote 'Yes' to the idea in May.

Conservative councillor Gary Crookes joked: "I'd be happier with (Labour council leader) John Mutton calling himself 'Fuhrer' than having an elected mayor!"

Coun Mutton quipped Coun Foster as mayor would have large taxpayer costs for a "Twitter department". I sense a council would give it a more convoluted title!

THE post of Home Secretary has long been considered a graveyard for politicians' careers.

In the list of thankless jobs, some might say Coventry MP Bob Ainsworth's new role as Defence Secretary now tops the lot, given daily criticism of the Afghanistan war.

At Coventry City Council, the role of cabinet member for children, learning and young people would appear similarly perilous. The present incumbent is Conservative John Blundell. There have doubtless been many successes for the expansive department. Apparently rising educational attainment in the city's schools is often cited.

But controversies over child abuse, following cuts in council-run children's services, led to opposition demands for his resignation earlier this summer.

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