‘Punch and Judy show’

BASSETLAW Council’s leader has defended his party’s decision to vote against a Labour motion about concerns over the potential effects proposed cuts will have on policing in Bassetlaw.

Leader Coun Mike Quigley said the motion put forward by Coun Alan Rhodes at the full council meeting held last December was “meaningless” and “purely politicking”.

Coun Rhodes called on the council to write to the Police Authority to express concerns on the “possible effects” on policing in Bassetlaw “as a result of the proposed cuts in police budgets”.

The motion received 20 votes against but 21 for and no abstentions the vote was carried to pass the proposals.

Coun Quigley described the motion as “vague” and “useless” and said Labour was responsible for the economic situation.

“We are all having to make savings because of the legacy the government has been left by Labour. They are very good at saying where not to make the savings but do not offer any alternative,” he said.

He added he and the council are taking the responsiblity for community safety extremely seriously and regularly talk to Notts Police and partners about “working smarter”.

“We have had assurances that frontline policing will be protected as much as possible and we will be pressing to ensure that this is the case,” he said.

“Many of the savings will be made in back office functions and by modernising the way the force operates.”

But Coun Rhodes blasted Coun Quigley for turning the discussion into a “party political Punch and Judy show,” and said they failed to take the opportunity to show unity on an important issue.

He spoke of his concern about the loss of expertise and fears for the possible closure of Harworth, Retford and Leverton stations as well as the police contact point in Carlton.

“I made a point when moving the motion that this is not a party political issue but one on which we should all be speaking in an unanimous voice on behalf of the residents of Bassetlaw,” he said.

“In my view they have let the people of Bassetlaw down yet again by being unable to separate party politics from service to our community.”