19th Oct, 2017

City is at a political crossroads - says former council leader

Coventry Editorial 28th May, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE COUNCIL is at a crossroads and needs to do some serious political thinking, according to ex-leader John Mutton.

The veteran Labour man made the comments days before a failed bid to become party chairman.

During last week’s election count at the Ricoh Arena, Coun Mutton told the Observer: “There needs to be some serious political thinking and not just jester politics. People can read into that what they will.”

Visible signs of change have hit the council leadership in the past 12 months after a new, younger group of councillors were elected in both 2011 and 2012.

And after councillors Lucas and Phil Townshend were made leader and deputy respectively, a new cabinet was appointed.

Coun Mutton launched his bid to become chair of the Coventry Labour Party – held by Colleen Fletcher – after being re-elected as a Binley and Willenhall councillor last week.

But he failed to win enough votes to beat Coun Fletcher – Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Coventry North East in 2015 – winning just 13 votes compared to her 28.

Coun Mutton has been on the city council since 1984 and was leader of the Labour group until May last year. He told the Observer: “I’m happy I’ve got more time for my local community but I’m never happy with the council. I wasn’t happy when I was leader!

“I’m always pushing for officers and members to achieve more and that hasn’t changed.”

He added: “It’s disappointing we didn’t make gains this year because we had some brilliant candidates who came really close. But they’ll come back to fight another day.”

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