Mayor James Palmer accuses Lib Dem MEP Lucy Nethsingha of ‘hypocrisy’
Mayor James Palmer has criticised Lucy Nethsingha for “yet further Lib Dem hypocrisy”.
The mayor repeated his challenge of the MEP after she resigned as Cambridge city councillor but retained her county seat.
He hit out at Cllr Nethsingha, who had previously challenged former councillor Donald Adey’s initial decision to remain as both a city and county councillor despite having moved to Scotland.
At the time, she said: “To stand down from one council is better than staying on both, but still disgraceful. County pays far more than city so I’m sadly not surprised he’s chosen to stay on there, but he is the only county councillor for Trumpington, while for the city there are two others so it’s a purely selfish decision to stay on as county councillor.”
Mr Palmer said: “Considering these comments, Cllr Nethsingha’s decision to remain in her role as county councillor for Newnham reeks of the hypocrisy that is so often rife in the local Liberal Democrat party. Whilst foregoing the £4,905 basic allowance of a city councillor, Cllr Nethsingha remains entitled to the basic county allowance of £10,315 a year. That’s on top of her MEP salary of £7,599 per month.
“There are three city councillors for the Newnham ward but only one county councillor. If Nethsingha was so sure that Adey would struggle to fulfil his county duties whilst living away, why is she so confident that she can do a better job whilst living largely in Brussels and Strasbourg during the week?”
“The big challenge Cllr Nethsingha has set herself is to be a diligent local councillor whilst also carrying out her duties in the European Parliament. It’s a tall order and I find it hard to believe that she can do it. She should make way for someone who will put the role of county councillor first.”
Cllr Nethsingha responded this week: “As I have said before I don’t recognise any similarity. Donald moved away from Cambridge. I am still living in Newnham, and still very active in my ward. I have a new job, so am no longer sitting on both councils, but I am still living in Cambridge and working hard to represent the residents of Newnham.
“I would have thought James Palmer might have better things to do with his time than digging up old quotes. I have just been reading about concerns raised by the Cambridge Area Bus Users Group about the quality of the buses on our streets, and the levels of pollution.
“I am certainly spending time arguing for clearer greener transport options, both in Cambridgeshire and in the European Parliament. I would like to see mayor Palmer doing more to speed up improvements to Cambridgeshire’s bus services rather than spending time writing press releases about me. He should get on with his job and allow me to get on with mine.”
A by-election for Cllr Nethsingha’s city seat is on August 8. The candidates are: Josh Matthews (Lib Dem), Mark Slade (Green), Michael David Spencer (Con) and Niamh Marian Sweeney (Lab).