Green Group statement on Councillor Tom Bewick stepping down as Labour Council’s lead on Children, Young People and Skills
The Green Group of Councillors have responded to the news that Councillor Tom Bewick has announced he will step down from his role as Labour’s lead on children and young people.
Convenor of the Green Group Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said:
“The Council’s Labour leadership has tried to explain Councillor Bewick’s resignation as lead on children and young people as him needing more time for his career out of politics, but whatever spin they put on it, Tom’s external career has not been the only issue pulling his focus from council work – he clearly also struggled with this portfolio and Labour’s budget. He was quick to expose problems in Labour’s youth service cuts to the media, and at yesterday’s Children, Young People and Skills Committee, even described Labour’s cuts plans as ‘short-sighted.’
“We must congratulate Brighton and Hove’s young people for their bravery in calling Labour out over their devastating budget. I expect that their bold protests against the planned cuts to youth services have played a role in Councillor Bewick’s decision to step down as Chair.
“Councillor Bewick and the Labour leadership have been divided for some time, particularly over the EU referendum. Since Brexit he has repeatedly called on Peter Kyle MP to vote to trigger Article 50. It strikes me that perhaps he has shown a little too much ‘disloyalty’ for the Progress Labour leadership locally who once considered Bewick the heir apparent to Councillor Morgan.”
Councillor Alex Phillips, Green Group spokesperson for Children, Young People and Skills commented:
“We wish Councillor Bewick the best in his future endeavours. However, we will continue to take Labour to task over their divisive plans for the services for young people in our city. The strength and courage of young people who came forward to challenge Labour’s Youth Service plans yesterday must not be ignored. The Green Group will be sure to hold the new Chair Councillor Daniel Chapman to account, to ensure that children and young people do not continue to get a raw deal.”