#81: And another one hits the dust – long overdue.

I’ve got a lot of respect for David Minnery as an effective presenter and interpreter of the council’s finances, which is why I find this so depressing – not because he IS standing down for all the reasons given, but because he allowed the situation he now finds intolerable to persist (despite all the evidence for many years). In many ways he has been a gently spoken apologist for the administration.

That said, I can see how it is possible for a highly qualified accountant to work collectively with those parts of the administration that are built on spreadsheets, but only if you separate that part out of the consideration of the power wielded by the political constituency (as I’ve described in earlier articles). You don’t need to take too powerful a magnifying glass to read between the lines of David Minnery’s email to see that that’s how he’s managed to square his conscience with his professional duties – for I’m convinced that’s how he saw his role, as one of duty to the brief he was handed.

His loss to the administration will be keenly felt by those who appreciated what he did and the civilised way in which he did it.

I’ll let him off the hook that he allowed himself to be tethered with and continue to wonder how those he is leaving behind find it so easy to accept the conditions he no longer feels able to tolerate in all conscience.

From: David Minnery <david.minnery@shropshire.gov.uk>
Sent: 22 April 2021 11:00
To: Members <Members@shropshire.gov.uk>
Subject: A sad day….

Good Morning All,

I wanted you to hear directly from me that I have this morning tendered my resignation from the Conservative Party and, accordingly, from the Conservative Group. As a consequence I have also resigned from the Fire Authority with immediate effect.

It has not been an easy decision; I joined the Party in 1978 and have fought, and mostly won, many elections for them over the years and I have always been proud to represent them in Local Government.

Sadly the Party today is not the Party I joined; I have always believed in ‘doing the right thing’ and in keeping true to my principles but it is perfectly clear to everyone (except, possibly, themselves) that the Party today no longer shares that ethos, and this is true from the highest to lowest levels. It both demonstrates and tolerates behaviour that in the past would have resulted in automatic expulsion or resignation and I am no longer prepared to be associated with it.

In case this is my last opportunity to do so I would like to wish everyone who is contesting the election the very best of luck. I bear no ill will towards any of you, this decision is entirely due to a personal battle with my conscience and I know there will be many who won’t recognise the descriptions I have used to describe their Party and may take exception to my words. No offense is intended, and I apologise if any has been caused. As I always have attempted to do – I say it as I see it.

It has been an honour to have been a part of this Authority and to have been entrusted with some responsibilities over the years. I have enjoyed working closely with our Officers and with fellow Members of all persuasions and I have appreciated the contributions made by all sides to our debates and discussions.

To those of you who are not contesting the election I wish you a long and happy release from the trials and tribulations of Local Government in these very difficult times; may you live long and prosper!

With sincere best wishes,

Cllr David Minnery