The Leader of Labour’s councillors in South Gloucestershire is branding the district's three Tory MPs as “discourteous and unprofessional” for not responding to a string of letters sent to them over recent months. Councillor Pat Rooney says that she has not gone public before in order to give the MPs time to respond, but now feels the need to vent her frustration which she hopes will goad the MPs into action.
Councillor Rooney’s criticism centres on a total of eight letters that have gone unanswered: four sent to Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore, and two each to Luke Hall and Jack Lopresti.
The earliest dates to before Christmas, when Cllr Rooney wrote to ask Mr Skidmore to intervene with the Tory Council’s Leader Matthew Riddle over his plans to close Kingswood Civic Centre, which would move hundreds of jobs out of Kingswood. After two months of silence she chased this up on 26 February but that letter has also been ignored.
At the end of February Cllr Rooney wrote to all three of the local MPs to ask their opinion of the Conservative councillors’ decision to use government money to fund a small reduction in the annual green bin subscription rather than existing services under threat, such as libraries and PCSOs. No response has been received from any of them.
At the beginning of April Cllr Rooney wrote to the three MPs on the subject of the proposed West of England devolution deal, asking them to lobby the Minister to allow a referendum of local voters. The MPs’ position on this request remains unknown as this letter has also gone unanswered.
Councillor Pat Rooney says:
“I think it is discourteous and unprofessional of Chris, Luke and Jack simply to ignore all the letters that I have written to them. If they disagree with me they should write back and say so, and have the courage of their convictions.
I hope that now I have made their ongoing silence public they will finally find their voice and tell me what they think. I am one of Mr Skidmore’s constituents and think it is particularly bad form that he has not had the courtesy to reply to me.”