Council leader ousted in political coup condemns “grab for power”

Calderdale

By Anders Anglesey

The Labour council leader for Calderdale condemned the decision to oust him from his position as a cynical action taken by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Tim Swift, 57, was removed from his position of council leader yesterday after Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors passed a motion of no confidence.

The motion was put forward by Conservative group leader, Stephen Baines MBE, and was seconded by Liberal Democrat group leader, Jane Battye.

Mr Swift was shocked by the decision made by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and said both parties took advantage of a situation and made a grab for power.

He said: “Clearly this is a very cynical action taken by the Conservative and Liberal Democrats and shows that, like on the national level, the Lib Dem’s are prepared to prop up the Conservative at the local level.

“The two items that both parties were concerned about would have been discussed at last night’s meeting, but were postponed due to the vote that took place last night.”

Mr Swift was removed from the position of Calderdale Council Leader by a vote of 24 to 22.

In a statement realised by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats they say that the decision was made because Labour had not honoured theircommitment to the people of Calderdale.

The statement issued 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 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.

The opposition parties then said that there was no other option other than to call a vote of no confidence.

“We therefore had 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 was 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. “

 

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