‘Uneven funding’ row hits Tories

Harborough District Council's offices
Harborough District Council's offices

It isn’t just the national Conservative party that is showing signs of strain.

In Harborough too, cracks have suddenly appeared in the ruling Conservative group – despite its big majority.

Harborough District Council is not doing enough for places outside Market Harborough - say the Conservative group’s own councillors from Lutterworth and Broughton Astley.

Cllr Geraldine Robinson (Con) said: “This council needs to be more supportive of the whole district and not just Market Harborough town.”

Cllr Rosita Page (Con) compared the council to Animal Farm when she quoted: “‘all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others’- every time Market Harborough is ‘more equal’”.

Cllr Janette Ackerley (Con) argued that time and again Lutterworth was the poor relation when it came to the distribution of funds.

Then Cllr Paul Dann (Con) “absolutely agreed” and Cllr Richard Tomlyn (Con) said “we need to look further at how we help other areas across the district”.

The surprising mini-revolt, apparently unplanned, came in a council meeting last week, as disgruntled Conservative councillors queued up to criticise the distribution of funds by their own leadership.

After the meeting, Cllr Robinson said the group’s leader Cllr Bake Pain “isn’t very popular at the minute”, but added “this is an issue that has been rumbling on for donkeys years”.

A surprised Cllr Pain told the Mail: “When you join a political party you have to operate not as an individual or a maverick, but with the party you sign up to.

“We have to remind ourselves that we’re a district council.”