FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Resignation of the leader of RBWM
The sudden resignation of Cllr Dudley was made in the early hours and apparently without any consultation with Conservative group members. Nothing new there, then. Perhaps in time, we’ll understand why he felt the need to step down urgently, without any kind of handover period, and leaving his residents without his voice on the council.
The past 12 years of Conservative rule have been dogged by rumours of bullying and autocratic decision-making. When Cllr Dudley made the news, it was often for controversial reasons — his comments on homeless people in the run-up to the Royal Wedding, developer contributions being diverted to the school he founded, and his penchant for blocking residents who asked him questions on social media, for example.
Cllr Dudley’s predecessor, who held the role for 9 years, was concerned primarily with year-on-year council tax freezes. Services were stripped back to the bone and perhaps this is part of the reason the council’s finances are in such dire trouble now.
We call upon interim leader Cllr Coppinger and whoever succeeds him as leader to:
• Call a halt to the disastrous borough local plan. Work with the inspector and neighbouring boroughs to come up with a truly inspirational plan that safeguards our green belt, honours our climate emergency commitments and reflects residents’ needs for sound infrastructure, amenity and somewhere to park.
• Offer visionary leadership, engage properly with residents and restore trust with employees of RBWM.
• Abandon the party whip, which has no place in local politics.
Kashmir Singh will represent the Liberal Democrats in the upcoming election in Riverside. He is a local candidate who is well liked and works hard for his local community. We have a first-class candidate in Kashmir, and we urge everyone who wants to see democracy restored to the council to put their political differences aside and unite behind him.
We question why Cllr Dudley only realised his national calling now, and didn’t step down before the May elections, avoiding the need for a costly by-election. Nevertheless, we welcome it. The people of Riverside have a golden opportunity to challenge the status quo in the upcoming by-election, as do the Conservative group when they elect their new leader. We urge both to elect somebody who genuinely has what it takes to make a difference.
Windsor and Maidenhead Lib Dems