Friday, October 01, 2010

In Praise of Dan Cox

I am very sad to see that Dan Cox has resigned as Conservative Leader and County Council Leader. He is doing so for the right reasons, working with VSO in India to provide for some of the very poorest. That's taking "Social Action" to a whole new level! Dan has been a keen champion and a good friend for the last few years. He led the party to a massive victory in the 2009 elections and has steered the authority through the turmoil of Labour's failed unitary bid. He has led the council through economic choppy-waters and remained a focused, decent guy. I, and I am sure politics as a whole, will miss Dan Cox - "a good guy".


Deckard said...

Firstly I would like to start by saying Dan Cox's decision to work with some of the very poorest in India should be rightfully commended and it does show a true test of someone's character. It's taking international development to an individual level and we all wish him well for the future.

I would like to talk about his political legacy which he will leave behind at County Hall. Some see this as positive, while others have different views.

The County Council has seen its lowest council tax rise ever, and this in itself is seen as historical. Whether we agree with it or not is another thing and can be an issue for debate in the future. The opening of new City Academies is a step forward and will bring private capital into education; which is much needed to turn around schools which were underperforming. In terms of transport the continuation and expansion of Park & Ride is rightfully welcome, and hope this will continue.

However some issues such as the NDR, privatization of County Farms, switching street lights off, and the cuts to connexions will also leave behind a legacy. I feel that perhaps too often the democratic deficit has been shown in some of the decision making, and this needs to be remedied. More needs to be done to lower the level of rural poverty and increase social mobility. Especially during these financially troubling times.

I would urge whoever becomes the new leader to think of the social cost as well as the economic cost of decision making, and that politics is more than a book keeping exercise.

In locating one policy issue I would urge the new leader to stress to Cllr Adrian Gunson to reconsider the light switch off and make an exemption for Norwich. The people of Norwich need to be fully consulted and this has not been the case.

Deckard said...

Also I forgot to mention that the Unitary Issue will also define Dan Cox's leadership.