Sunderland City Council’s Labour leader brands top city Tory a ‘stupid boy’

Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson
Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson
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WEARSIDE’S top Conservative was branded a “stupid boy” by his Labour counterpart at a full meeting of Sunderland City Council.

Council leader Paul Watson made the remarks in a tirade against Sunderland Tories during which he claimed city leaders could struggle to provide decent homes and school places as a result of Government cuts.

Counc. Robert Oliver asks if residents would prefer the Lakeside Village name to stay or revert to Gilley Law.

Counc. Robert Oliver asks if residents would prefer the Lakeside Village name to stay or revert to Gilley Law.

He was speaking in response to Conservative councillors’ questions on regeneration cash to build a new swimming pool at the seafront and invest in infrastructure to help develop the Vaux site.

Fulwell councillor George Howe had repeated calls to stop the city losing out to neighbouring rival South Shields, which is busy building a new swimming pool at its seafront.

Tory leader Coun Robert Oliver had asked if Coun Watson would commit to funding work at St Mary’s Way to better connect the Vaux site to the city centre.

Coun Watson said he could not promise such large amounts of cash at a time the council was facing tens of millions of pounds in funding cuts imposed by the Tory Government.

“What planet are they on?” He said. “With £58million in cuts this year and £85million to come in the next two years, I can’t guarantee that there’ll be houses for people to live in of a decent standard.

“I can’t guarantee there’ll be places for children to go to school. They should get real. You stupid boy.”

Coun Oliver said the Coalition Government had introduced a number of schemes, including tax-increment financing, which would help councils fund redevelopment projects.