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Councillors Question Scarborough Borough Mayor

Mayor and Mayoress of the Borough of Scarborough

Published by Jon Burke at 4:21pm 16th November 2018. (Updated at 4:34pm 16th November 2018)

A cross-party group of seven Scarborough Borough Councillors have served a Requisition on Tory Mayor Councillor Joe Plant demanding an Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council to debate and vote on the following Motion:

 

Does the Council have CONFIDENCE in the present Mayor?

The signatories are Labour Cllrs. Tony Randerson (Proposer), Rob Barnett, Eric Broadbent and Independent Cllrs. Sam Cross (Seconder), Norman Murphy, Roxanne Murphy, Jonathan Dodds.  

This is what they've written..

"This follows a series of incidents in which, in our view, the Mayor has fallen short of certain legal requirements pertaining to his position.

In particular, we would cite his failure to adhere to the terms of the Local Government Act 1972 in respect of the recent Requisition for an Extraordinary Meeting to consider the legality (or otherwise) of the actions of the Chief Executive in disbarring an elected member from attending Council and Committee Meetings, or interacting with Council Officers.

The Mayor's refusal to allow a Point of Order at the Meeting of 5th November was also in breach of the Local Government Act 1972.

Public reaction, as evidenced on social media and the local press, bespeaks a widespread concern that the Mayor has departed from the required standards of impartiality in his conduct of Meetings. In a democratically elected local government authority, this is unacceptable. It is not the role of the Mayor, as Chair of the Council, to shield from criticism or examination Conservative Councillors, the Leader and Cabinet, or the Chief Executive and his Directors.

For these reasons, and for many more which will no doubt emerge in a free and unbiased debate, we have Requisitioned the Mayor to convene an Extraordinary Meeting. He should now recuse himself from his duty to schedule and chair this Meeting in favour of his Deputy, Councillor Dilys Cluer, on grounds of his direct personal conflict of interests in respect of the sole Motion.

It has been rightly said that the price of democracy is eternal vigilance. During the present Council term which, thankfully, will conclude with the local elections on 2nd May 2019, the repute and good standing of this Council has sunk to an unacceptably low level. The public well remembers the matter of the questionable No Confidence motion against the Leader and his Cabinet (following similar, easily-carried Motions at Whitby and Filey Town Councils); the controversial vote on the demolition of The Futurist; the unresolved Marriott corruption allegations; and the unlawful interception of  Councillors' emails. These have been some of the milestones on a road leading to the erosion of democracy in the Borough. We have NO CONFIDENCE in this Mayor to preside over a return to equitable governance in the Borough of Scarborough."

A council spokesperson said:

"We will respond accordingly in due course, in accordance with the law and the constitution, like we always do."

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