Local government news: Lib Dems attack Pickles, Tory councillor quits

From the Local Government Chronicle:

Furious senior Liberal Democrat councillors have labelled communities secretary Eric Pickles “incompetent”, called for the abolition of his department, and urged the sector to take its concerns about his recent conduct to the top of government…

The comments were matched by their Labour counterparts with Salford City Council leader, John Merry (Lab), calling on Mr Pickles to relinquish his post…

Conservative councillors at the executive meeting were less vociferous but not one defended ministers during an hour-long discussion on the local government finance settlement, while LGA chairman, Dame Margaret Eaton (Con) said she was “saddened” by some ministerial behaviour.

The Northern Echo brings this news:

A SENIOR Tory councillor has quit the day after he called David Miliband a w****r on Twitter.

Coun David Potts, the South Tyneside Conservative leader who represents the Cleadon and East Boldon ward, attacked Mr Miliband on the social networking site after it was announced the former Foreign Secretary was in talks to become a non-executive vice-chairman at Sunderland football club.

But Mr Potts insisted today that the decision to quit had no link to the Twitter row.

In a statement today, the councillor says that he is a recovering alcoholic.

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