In usual times after an election, the Leader the largest party puts forward is elected in ‘on the nod’. However in Northumberland we haven’t been in usual times.
The leader of the opposition Scott Dickinson asked if he could explain why they couldn’t vote for the proposed Leader of the Council Glen Sanderson, as did other councillors. This was turned down.
All the councillors who had previously made noise and were ‘determined to do the right thing’ had been given committee places that give them additional monies, known as SRA payments.
This meant that none of the ‘Tory rebels’ who insisted they wanted to do the right thing or those who pretended to be independents to win their election all voted along with the Conservatives to get their man in post.
All the Labour Group leader wanted to point out was that we couldn’t vote for the existing leader because:
- accusations of bullying, intimidation and mistreatment of staff are still rife;
- the Labour Group vowed and continues to vow to protect the staff from out of control councillors;
- That the council had the opportunity after an election to put things right and none of the leader’s proposals did that;
- some of the people at the heart of the issues still remain on the cabinet and others brought in who behaved appallingly during the election;
- that lots of council complaints, standards and otherwise still remain. We want to rebuild the reputation of the council and same old covering up is not acceptable;
- the leader needs take action and ensure that the mess that is Advance Northumberland is cleaned up.Had he spoken to opposition leaders and reassured them he would take action prior to the meeting things could have been different. The fact he hasn’t communicated with the opposition apart from the LibDems and others who have been brought into Conservative lines, then the stalled start could have been different. We could have started with a positive and more cohesive approach for the residents of Northumberland.
It’s important we get to explain why we voted against the leader and asked for a named vote so that everyone can see where their councillor stood on the illegal suspension of the CEO, the racism, bullying and intimidation of staff from Conservative councillors at all levels of the council, and the unacceptable behaviour towards Labour councillors on committees.