Conservative councillors have lined up to criticise the Green and Labour parties in Brighton & Hove over their decision to boycott Barclays Bank.
In a move reminiscent of the militant left-wing antics of Labour councils in the 1980s, the Greens and Labour ignored the advice of the same professional council finance officers who successfully avoided investing any money in the doomed Icelandic banks, and pushed through a hasty ill-thought out proposal that effectively prevents council taxpayers’ money being deposited in Barclays Bank.
At a previous meeting of the Council’s ruling Cabinet, Green Finance spokesman Cllr. Jason Kitcat backed the investment in Barclays, stating that the Council’s primary duty was to protect taxpayers’ money, a decision supported by Conservative Group Leader Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald. Last night’s decision, therefore, represents a massive u-turn by Cllr. Kitcat and the Greens.
Conservative Group Finance Spokesperson Cllr. Ann Norman said: “I am appalled that the Greens and Labour are using millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money as a political football in order to try and outdo each other in their unseemly squabble to gain the left-wing vote in the city. Barclays are a significant employer of local people in Brighton & Hove and the Council’s professional accountants have assessed them to be one of the safest places to deposit taxpayers’ money. The logical conclusion to their position is that these hard-working residents should be made redundant and that the security of taxpayers’ money is a secondary consideration. Where will this end? Will they now be advocating a boycott of American Express in the city?”
This latest fiasco comes on the back of the recent decision by the Green and Labour parties to continue pumping almost £300,000 of council taxpayers’ money into funding Trade Unions at the Council.
Conservative Group Leader Geoffrey Theobald added: “The Greens and Labour are turning the Council, and the city, into a laughing stock. I can’t imagine any other council in the country is taking this stance. They seem intent on taking us back to the days of nuclear-free zones and banning blackboards and manholes. Barclays was one of the few banks that didn’t require a taxpayer bailout during the recent financial crisis and they provide loans worth many thousands of pounds to local businesses to enable them to trade in the city. I would expect this sort of nonsense from the Green Party but the Labour Party really should have learnt the lessons of the past. I shall be writing to their national leader – Ed Miliband – to ask if it is now national Labour Party policy to boycott Barclays.”