Julia Davies calls on Sharon Taylor to listen to her leader: Gordon Brown has called on all MPs to devote themselves to their Parliamentary work and not to have a second job.

Julia Davies said:

Surely this means that Sharon has been deluding herself: her leader is saying that you cannot be a satisfactory MP if you have a second job. The role of councillor is a public duty which carries a considerable allowance – approximately £7,000 for Stevenage Borough Council – because it is demanding of people’s time and commitment.

Sharon should be prepared to hand over some of her power and she should not have risked the cost of an avoidable by-election: she will remember all too well that shortly after the County Council elections in 2005 there had to be such a by-election when a Labour member took a job with Herts County Council.

As well as being Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Sharon is also currently the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council Labour Group receiving an allowance of £10,500 – so she has at least three roles already representing Stevenage voters.

Julia has also repeated a claim that there is too little acknowledgement of the views of those in Stevenage who do not support Labour. In the Comet Hustings last Wednesday, Sharon Taylor claimed that she had allowed one committee to be chaired by a Liberal Democrat councillor.

Julia has been assured by Liberal Democrat councillors that this was a scrutiny committee on cycling which Cllr. Robin Parker was permitted to spend two days chairing. He certainly did not qualify for any of the £8,000 allowance provided to other Stevenage Borough Council Scrutiny Committee Chairs. This does not amount to genuine recognition of the different party political allegiances in Stevenage but it tells us a great deal about the attitude of the current Leader of the Council and Labour Parliamentary Candidate.