Councillor may be ousted

PUBLISHED: 11:24 01 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:01 04 May 2010

CONSERVATIVE councillor Anna Bailey was due to hear last night (Wednesday) whether she could continue as a trustee on the board of ADeC. Fellow trustees were meeting to discuss her future with the arts development organisation after she voted with her rul

CONSERVATIVE councillor Anna Bailey was due to hear last night (Wednesday) whether she could continue as a trustee on the board of ADeC.

Fellow trustees were meeting to discuss her future with the arts development organisation after she voted with her ruling party on the district council to slash £70,000 from their budget.

If trustees decide to oust Cllr Bailey from her position they must replace her with another council representative.

"It is in our constitution that we need to have a councillor on the board and we will be taking that into consideration," said Jane Wilson, director of Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire.

Cllr Bailey, who was newly elected to East Cambridgeshire District Council in the May elections, had only attended one meeting of the trustees when she cast her controversial vote.

Her decision at the council's community services committee meeting was crucial because it pushed the budget cut through with a five votes to four majority, cutting 40 per cent from the arts' budget and leaving its future hanging in the balance.

Furious Liberal Democrat councillors called in the decision to the council's overview and scrutiny committee where it will be discussed on November 12.

The committee has the power to send it back to the community services committee for more discussion.

Hundreds of people across East Cambridgeshire have pledged their support for the arts since the budget cut was announced.

In the last week, more than 500 signatures have been added to a petition calling for the decision to be reversed.

Ms Wilson said: "The response has been amazing, fantastic. People are actually starting to put together all the different things that we do.

"Historically, we have put our resources into what we do and not what ADeC is about. Now people are recognising the range of activities we offer and that is something really positive that has come out of this."

The petition is available to download from the ADeC website at www.adec.org.uk

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