THE leader of Winchester City Council has hit back at comments from MP Steve Brine criticising a lack of action by the authority.

In his Letter from Westminster from August Mr Brine called for action over plans to regenerate the city, including Silver Hill and Station Approach.

He said: “My central thesis is that Winchester can no longer afford to indulge in endless debate and self-interested legal challenge because this is all connected to the changing workplace.”

He also called for “better local leadership and vision”.

His comment sparked a call for collaboration by Conservative leader on the city council Caroline Horrill, who requested for authority leader Lucille Thompson to “work proactively” with her to present a united vision to regenerate Winchester.

But her bid for partnership, triggered disapproval from Cllr Thompson, who said: “I don't find it very helpful when I find comments by our MP in the Hampshire Chronicle basically being rude about the council because that isn't helpful at all and actually it doesn't make me feel inclined to put my hand out. At the moment we have been holding joint cabinet and shadow cabinet meetings so we can keep you full updated on the current Covid crisis.”

Cllr Thompson told the full council meeting that the ruling Lib Dems are happy to work with the Tories and consistently do.

She continued: “We already do have an all party group set up looking at the individual major projects and they are called the project open forum and they are open not only to specific members who sit on those forum but also any other councillors and members of the public who want to come along."