Tories require senior Lib Dems to stand down from Council Executive pending investigation

There’s trouble in the Council administration in York as the Conservative leader of the Council required two senior Liberal Democrat coalition members to stand down temporarily pending an investigation on which there is precious little detail. The rest of the Lib Dem group boycotted a meeting of the Executive in protest on Thursday night.

From The Press:

Cllr Andrew Waller, a one time council leader who is now executive member for the environment, tweeted: “Lack of meaningful response to questions today following the actions of Cllr Carr&snr officers mean that I will not be at Executive tonight.”

A statement from the Lib Dem group confirmed that Cllr Waller and the party’s other remaining member on the ruling executive had sent their apologies.

“Councillors Waller and Runciman sent their apologies to this evening’s Executive Meeting. Councillor Runciman briefly attended the meeting to speak to one item relating to her portfolio,” the statement said.

It said that following the day’s events, Liberal Democrat Councillors were “pressing for assurances as to how the joint administration will continue to function in the best interests of the city.”

“The Liberal Democrat Group will now meet to decide the best way forward and we will continue to work hard representing our residents,” the statement added.

Watch this space for further developments. It certainly seems odd that no details of the alleged issues under investigation have been made public.

The Liberal Democrats have clearly been doing a lot of good work in York, Keith Aspden, one of the suspended councillors, wrote here last month about efforts to tackle homelessness, not notably a priority of the Conservatives.

One area in which we can take pride in the Council’s record is homelessness. York’s services for preventing and managing homelessness have been awarded the National Practitioner Support Service’s Gold Standard award. At the time of the award we were only the third local authority to have achieved this. Gold Standard requires the service to have a focus on early intervention and prevention of homelessness at its core.

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6 Comments

  • Tony Greaves 2nd Sep '17 - 9:39pm

    “the Conservative leader of the Council required two senior Liberal Democrat coalition members to stand down temporarily pending an investigation ”

    Sounds very odd. The Leader appoints members of the Executive and can presumably remove them but I wonder what powers he has to require them to “temporarily stand down”? In the circumstances of a Coalition it seems unacceptable that any such action would be taken except in consultation with the Leader of the other party in the Coalition. (Pendle has a 2-party joint executive rather than a coalition but if the Leader was daft enough to take such action without my agreement he would not be Leader much longer!)

  • Simon McGrath 3rd Sep '17 - 10:47am

    “The Liberal Democrats have clearly been doing a lot of good work in York, Keith Aspden, one of the suspended councillors, wrote here last month about efforts to tackle homelessness, not notably a priority of the Conservatives.”
    Ironically they are also one of the most NIMBY LD groups around

    https://yorklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2015/1097822/lib-dems-outline-new-approach-to-local-plan

  • Tony Greaves 3rd Sep '17 - 8:31pm

    Nimby? Looks like a sensible approach to me. But of course an extreme free-market fanatic might think that building anywhere is okay!

  • Unless we know what the investigation is supposed to be all about and what the facts are, it’s all just whistling in the wind.

  • I know this thread was about other issues within York Council, but now the issue of the Lib Dems’ approach to housing, growth etc has been raised, I agree with Tony Greaves that the words written by the York Councillors make a lot of sense from an LD point of view, and unless interpreted very restrictively, are not in any way NIMBY.

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