News is coming out of the Town Halls of BCP Council that a vote of ‘no confidence’ is imminent.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole could see a new administration in charge as early as Tuesday 9 June, as the current Conservative opposition seek to ramp up pressure on the ruling ‘Unity Alliance’. The Unity Alliance is a group of independents, Liberal Democrats, Labour and The Green Party along with councillors who represent smaller local parties such as The Poole People’s Party.
Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of the BCP Conservative Group, which is the largest opposition party and shares almost half the vote, has confirmed that they have struck a deal with some councillors outside the Conservative Group to force a vote of no confidence through the Full Council meeting on Tuesday.
Commenting ahead of the No Confidence vote, Cllr Mellor said that the factions within the diverse group of councillors who form the current ruling ‘Unity Alliance’ has meant that there has been significant compromise as Council Leader Cllr. Vikki Slade seeks to tread a path that satisfies the demands of all.
Conservatives congratulate Liberal Democrat Leader
Speaking ahead of the No Confidence vote, Cllr. Mellor commented: “Whilst the current Liberal Democrat leader has much to be congratulated on, particularly during these difficult times of the COVID crisis, the realities of decision making when having to constantly satisfy everyone within a strained coalition and a Cabinet of Compromise have become all too familiar.”
Cllr Mellor cited recent examples of the ruling administrations compromise which included ‘The Road to nowhere’ – a reference to the Unity Alliance coalition halting and changing the major Wessex Fields project, which the Conservatives claim was to provide a huge boost to our local hospitals and create 2,000 jobs for local people.
“Our Council needs an inclusive and experienced administration” said Mellor, “putting the issues of real people and their concerns at the very centre. By dealing with the looming financial issues head on, by embarking on a bold transformation agenda (something which has been put off by the current administration) we will save millions more of local tax payers’ money, protecting services and enabling us to invest in helping local businesses rebuild and enact plans for regeneration across our three towns.”
What will the No Confidence Vote mean?
A motion will be put forward on Tuesday 9 June that there is now no longer confidence in the ability of the current administration to govern BCP Council. The motion would rely on a simple majority. If more people support the motion than don’t, then the motion is carried. This would effectively force the Council Leader, currently Cllr. Vikki Slade (Liberal Democrat) to stand down.
What happens if the vote is successful?
The largest group or party within the council would usually form the governing group and ‘cabinet roles’ known as ‘portfolios’ would be given to some members of the ruling group of councillors.
The largest single current group of councillors in BCP Council is the Conservative Group with nearly half of all the seats, but they don’t have an overall majority, which is why BCP Council is currently governed by a group called ‘The Unity Alliance’ made up of Liberal Democrats, Poole People’s Party, Greens, Labour and Independent councillors. This group ousted the conservatives at the last election and formed an alliance with Liberal Democrat Vikki Slade at the helm.
The Unity Alliance has been governing BCP since the last local elections, but the death of a councillor plus reported resignations has meant that power at BCP Council now hangs in the balance. Although the Conservatives still don’t have an overall majority, they are confident of support from other non-Conservative councillors, probably Independents, to help them form a new administration.
BH Living has approached current Council Leader Vikki Slade for comment but none has been forthcoming at present.
More news here as we receive it…..