Cllr Ken Maddock is leader of the ruling Conservative group on Somerset County Council. His campaign to win electoral control of the County was based – as this photograph displays – upon his determination to make cuts.
On February 16th 2011, during a long speech, Cllr Maddock told a full meeting of Somerset County Council:
“Our biggest source of income is central government. They too are under very severe pressures. We recognised from the start therefore that their revenue settlement to us would be harsh.In the event it was even more harsh than we had expected.”
This is completely incorrect. The grant settlement was one of the most generous in England. But Cllr Maddock is not, perhaps, a stickler for detail. His inner circle is deliberately small and dominated by one flamboyant and ruthless individual – Cllr David Huxtable. The cuts announced by Maddock were framed and approved in advance by Huxtable. Cllr Huxtable’s name heads every published document in the preamble to the current spending cuts. His Leader may have to carry the can but it is Cllr Huxtable who filled it to the brim.