Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, has today paid tribute to Kevin Price who stepped down as city councillor for King’s Hedges at last night’s full council meeting. Former Cllr Price, who represented the ward for over ten years and also served a term as Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Housing, tendered his resignation during the debate on an amended motion calling for recognition of trans rights.
Cllr Herbert spoke of his former colleague’s strong record on council housing delivery and homelessness, and thanked him for his dedication to supporting residents, often in disadvantaged communities;
“Councillors of all parties, especially his ward colleagues, council officers and especially King’s Hedges residents are going to miss Kevin.
“Last night’s debate saw Kevin stuck by his principles, as always. Sadly, not a position – this time – shared by the majority of councillors, but nonetheless views to which he is fully committed. I have no doubt that Kevin will continue fighting at all times for what he believes is right.
“Red Kev, as many know him, is Labour to his core. He has huge compassion for people and has helped many so many residents in North Cambridge.
“We will miss his sartorial elegance, often coming to council meetings decked head to toe in red. But most importantly we must pay tribute, as a group, to Kevin for all the improvements he helped deliver for Cambridge, particularly as Executive Councillor and Deputy Leader. Kevin played a pivotal role in our 2016 negotiations that eventually secured £70 million for new council housing. That includes phone conversations outside the Carlton Arms on Arbury Road with one of Her Majesty’s Treasury advisers late one Sunday evening, reflecting just how deeply Kevin cared about the principle of making affordable housing accessible to all those in need.
“Kevin worked closely with our excellent officer team on shaping our programme to build 500 new council homes for Cambridge families, giving them their only real chance of a quality new home that they can afford to rent. We are starting to see the benefits of that dedication with families now moving into the first of these new homes.
“This is just one of the legacies Kevin leaves his home city, as well as his work tackling homelessness and rough sleeping, including supporting the launch of Cambridge Street Aid in 2016.
Deputy Leader Anna Smith, who proposed the amended motion, also offered her thanks to her former colleague;
“I want to give my thanks to Kevin for being an outstanding councillor and comrade.
“His work in ensuring that we started building hundreds of council houses has transformed our city and the lives of the most vulnerable. And he has fought tirelessly for the residents of Kings Hedges over many years.
There have been so many times since I became a councillor, where Kevin’s advice or support was invaluable. We haven’t always agreed on everything, but Kevin has always approached disagreement in a way that makes his views clear – but also his respect of other people’s opinions is also clear. I am desperately sorry that we have lost Kevin as a councillor but acknowledge his principled stance.”
The amended motion – in which councillors were free to vote individually, rather than as a group – was passed by a large majority.
Cllr Price’s resignation now leaves a vacancy in King’s Hedges, bringing the total number of vacancies on the city council to 4. Due to current restrictions there will be no by-election and the vacancy will be filled at the next local elections in May 2021.