Calderdale Council leader ousted after vote of no confidence passed in parking row

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A vote of no confidence has been passed at tonight’s full council meeting and has seen leader of Calderdale Council Councillor Tim Swift ousted.

A motion was made by Conservative leader Councillor Stephen Baines and seconded by Councillor Janet Battye, leader of the Liberal Democrats, for the removal of Councillor Swift.

In a statement from the parties, it said: “It has become clear that the Labour Group has no intention of honouring the assurances it gave in May 2014 that it would consult and work with the other parties represented on Calderdale Council.

“This has come to a head over the past week, when there have been two instances (Hipperholme crossroads and the imposition of parking charges) where the Labour Cabinet have made clear their intention to push ahead with their own agenda. They are ignoring the views of the public of Calderdale and the wishes of the Council that were clearly set out at its budget-setting meeting in February.

“All the current opposition groups on the council believe that the attitude and actions of the Labour Cabinet are totally unacceptable, and that the public of Calderdale deserve better. We therefore have no option but to call for a vote of no confidence in the current administration. After serious consideration, we have resolved to work collectively over the next nine months to ensure that the Council better serves the local community.

“To achieve these aims, the only option open to the Council is to remove the current Leader of the Council and replace him with someone who will honour these commitments in stark contrast to the way that Labour deliberately have not.

“The result of this vote is a minority Conservative administration working in conjunction with all other opposition councillors.”

The motion was passed for the removal of Councillor Swift, 24 votes to 22.

Labour has accused the Tories and Lib Dems of proving once and for all that the two parties are truly two sides of the same coin after they concocted a secret deal to carry out a coup of Calderdale Council last night.

Speaking after the council meeting, Labour Group leader Tim Swift said: “It shows that if you vote Lib Dem you get Tory. The chaos and hours of deliberations which followed their power-grab last night showed they didn’t have a clue what to do next – if that is a sign of how Calderdale Council is to be run for the next nine months I worry for the people of the borough – they deserve better than this. “Labour will hold the new administration to account strongly and will be working harder than ever to secure an overall majority on Calderdale Council in next May’s elections.”