December 5 2013 Latest news:
Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The response from a Labour cabinet member at Norfolk County Council following a Conservative MP’s offer to help commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war has been branded “disgraceful”.
Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, has hit out at Labour at County Hall after an exchange of correspondence which she says “beggars belief”.
Ms Smith sent the letter to all councils serving her constituency but in a reply - leaked to the BBC before Ms Smith had seen it - Labour cabinet member Margaret Wilkinson rejected it and said: “We have a rather full diary at the moment.”
It is claimed that the reply referred to the NCC’s failed waste incinerator proposal and their performance in children’s services.
Ms Smith said: “The response from this Labour politician is really very sad.
“It’s downright discourteous to veterans and serving members of the armed forces if the Labour administration at County Hall doesn’t have the time or the gumption to commemorate the sacrifices made during world war one.
“My letter laid out the funds that the government is making available and was polite and constructive as to how we might work together to do this in Norwich.
“What seems to have come back is pathetic party politics which shows utter disrespect for those of my constituents who do want to mark the centenary.”
Paul Wells, chairman of Norwich Conservatives, has written to Jessica Asato and Clive Lewis, calling on them to distance themselves from Labour’s “outrageous attitude” and speak out against their party’s behaviour.
He added: “It is important to take time and remember our brave men and women who fought for our country. The response is a disgrace, and for such an important landmark as this, there is no room for playing party politics.”
Ms Smith will be discussing the work of the Royal British Legion in Parliament today in a Westminster Hall debate at 4pm. Her speech will be supporting constituents who are campaigning to save the Jubilee Hall, on Aylsham Road, Norwich.