Judith Lubbock new Lib Dem Leader at City Hall

December 16, 2010 4:00 PM

Cllr Judith LubbockJudith Lubbock has been chosen as the new leader of Norwich City Council's Liberal Democrat Group. Judith, who has been a Councillor for 15 years in the Eaton Ward, will take over from Rosalind Wright who took on the role of Acting Leader in July.

Praising Ros Wright's efforts over the last six months Cllr Lubbock commented:

"Ros stepped into the breach after the courts overturned the unitary decision and forced Group Leader Cllr Brian Watkins to stand down. Ros has done a sterling job but has now taken the decision to concentrate on her teaching commitments. It is therefore an honour to have been chosen as her permanent replacement."

Commenting on the task ahead, Cllr Lubbock signalled her intention to push to improve transparency and efficiency at City Hall.

"I know that Labour is not doing a good enough job for Norwich - the Greyhound Opening scandal, a zero star rating for housing and the Connaught debacle prove that. I believe that by throwing open the doors at City Hall to proper public scrutiny we can drive forward performance and improve the way money is spent."

Commenting on the cuts to local authorities announced this week, Cllr Lubbock said Labour was still in denial about the need to make substantial cuts despite the announcement from Alistair Darling earlier in the year of his intention to make cuts of over £71billion.

"Let's be clear, cuts are necessary because of Gordon Brown's disastrous economic performance which has left this country with an enormous debt which costs over £21 million each day just to service. That's the cost of building 2 new schools or a hospital each day. It's Labour's legacy of an ill conceived war in Iraq and Gordon Browns inability to reign in unsustainable borrowing.

This 8.9% cut to the council's budget over the next two years is challenging, but not as bad as some Labour scaremongers were predicting. The important thing is that with Labour spending millions every year at City Hall on consultants and communications spin these savings are achievable without cutting frontline services. We should also note that with a funded Council Tax freeze next year, more flexibility on how money is spent and new incentives to get the council building homes there are some real positives for Norwich."

Outgoing Leader Rosalind Wright commented:

"My time as Leader was only envisaged as temporary and with increasing work commitments I am pleased to hand-over to Judith for the New Year. I know that Judith will make an excellent permanent Leader and will continue to be an honest, powerful, and intelligent voice at City Hall."

The group also announced that Cllr James Wright will become Deputy Group Leader. "I am delighted to be taking on the role of Deputy Leader. I've only been at City Hall a few months, but I can already see the depth of problems in this Council. As a group we need to continue to ask Labour and the officers the difficult and uncomfortable questions about why performance is so poor." said Cllr James Wright.