This week Plymouth City Council's Conservative Cabinet member Councillor Glenn Jordan made a complaint that Labour Councillor Neil Hendy was giving out leaflets about the Council's plans to close his local libraries in Laira and Efford at a consultation meeting.
Using the bizarre argument that a political party was being political, he attempted to prevent Neil handing out leaflets, and arranged for a Council Officer to send a letter saying that Councillors should seek permission before leafletting their own constituents.
Cllr Hendy has now written a strongly worded letter to the Leader of the Council, Conservative Cllr Ian Bowyer:
Dear Cllr Bowyer,
I am writing in response to your administration’s complaint about Labour Councillors informing residents about your plans to close 10 of Plymouth’s 17 libraries. I want to make clear I make no apologies for standing up for the people of Efford and Lipson in opposing your plans to close Efford and Laira libraries.
You need to know that my job is to stand up for the library users who want to keep Laira and Efford libraries open. I am grateful to you for highlighting the campaign that my Labour ward colleagues and I are running to keep Efford and Laira libraries open.
Across the city Labour councillors and volunteers have been working with members of the public to oppose the Conservative and UKIP plans to close libraries. You need to know that you can complain and grumble about our campaigns until the next election, but every single day Labour will be standing with our communities to oppose your cuts to the public services we all rely on.
I am publishing this letter as an open piece of correspondence to highlight to the people of Efford and Lipson, and Plymouth as a whole, that your attempts to shut down opposition to your plans will not work. In fact, it has only made me more determined to oppose your cruel plan to rob our young people of libraries.
I hope you change your mind about Efford and Laira libraries.
Cllr Neil Hendy