Councillor accuses leader of ‘dictatorship’

PUBLISHED: 08:31 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:53 14 January 2020

L-R: Councillor Christian Criscione and Cllr John Lodge. Photos: CONTRIBUTED.

L-R: Councillor Christian Criscione and Cllr John Lodge. Photos: CONTRIBUTED.


An Uttlesford District Council (UDC) councillor has accused the council’s leader of ‘dictatorship’.

The accusations come from Cllr Christian Criscione, Conservative Group Deputy Leader for Flitch Green and Little Dunmow and are directed to R4U Councillor and UDC leader John Lodge.

Cllr Criscione said he expressed his concerns to Cllr Lodge that the current administration has 'descended into a dictatorship'.

"The people of Uttlesford, in my opinion and that of others across politics and across the district, have been misled by R4U and their inaction and inadequacy. I think we need to ask, has the leader got any plans to enact the change he so promises, or is the John Lodge show to run its course to the detriment of this council, our residents and our environment?

"Residents must know what they can expect from its administration that seems to be led by one," Cllr Criscione said.

He added that Cllr Lodge said he offered a range of cooperative roles with other parties due to his desire to change the way politics is done, but that he "failed".

R4U Cllr Petrina Lees, UDC Deputy Leader, said: "From the moment Cllr Criscione stood up at the council meeting it was clear that he was looking to create himself a media soundbite. Why else directly insult John and then send carefully selected and edited quotes to the papers?

"As a young and less experienced councillor, maybe Cllr Criscione has been too swayed by the black arts and sneaky behaviour of national politicians. It is the worst kind of tribal party politics."

Cllr Lees added that people do not like it and do not want it in the area, and that the current administration was voted to prioritise locals, including by separating the central government party structures.

"We have already devolved away much of the power that the previous leader centred around himself. We have also increased transparency, and finally put proper governance in place over the council's investments - but there is much more to do. In the council's new way of working, we want to cooperatively to solve problems.

"As Cllr Criscione becomes more experienced, he may learn the benefits of team working - and he does have it in himself to be lovely."

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