Councillor claims Oakham has ‘no voice’ on county issues

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A councillor has called for Oakham to be represented on Rutland County Council’s cabinet.

Coun Gene Plews (Independent), who represents the Oakham South East ward, believes the lack of Oakham councillors on the authority’s decision-making group means the town is unable to have its say on key issues.

Coun Plews said: “When it comes down to the final decisions like budgets, planning - where serious money is spent in Rutland - there is no Oakham voice on the cabinet.”

Coun Plews used to be portfolio holder for community, youth and sport. But his role was axed and he was dropped from the cabinet in June last year.

At the time Coun Plews claimed his position was revoked as a result of him voting against cabinet recommendations regarding parking problems in his ward. He stepped down from the Conservative party as a result.

Coun Plews has also stopped attending scrutiny committee meetings in protest at the cabinet makeup.

Council leader Roger Begy (Con), who chairs the cabinet, said councillors were elected to represent the whole of Rutland. He compared the council’s cabinet to the Government’s cabinet, which is subject to reshuffles regardless of constituencies.

Coun Begy said: “Cabinet has been chosen for their ability as non-executives to be able to fulfil the objective role required and to make the commitment required to do so.

“At no stage has the ward to which they have been elected been an influencing factor.”