Last night Conservative Councillor Drew Mellor was elected the new leader of BCP Council, last night he also broke his first promise to his colleagues and residents. Despite a new commitment to "listen", an alliance between the Conservatives and some of the Independents, took away many councillors right to speak in support of the Unity Alliance’s candidate for Leader, Cllr Vikki Slade. A handful of councillors had spoken when, in a highly cynical move an independent councillor proposed that “the vote now be put”, supported by the Conservatives. This put an end to the debate, and brought forward the leadership vote sadly, Vikki was defeated so the council now has a new leader and a Conservative administration despite only getting 28% of the public vote in the 2019 election.
With their promise “to listen” immediately broken what can we expect from this new administration? In his speech the new leader promised to fully engage with residents as well as work with councillors from all parties. We will be watching very closely as this is the councillor who closed area committees ignoring residents’ and other councillors’ views. This is the councillor and the political party that were responsible for the closure of public toilets, the 150% increase in car parking charges, criminalising homelessness and supported development on our precious green belt.
Under Vikki’s leadership the Unity Alliance fully engaged with residents when developing the Council’s Corporate Strategy, responded to the call for declaring a Climate Emergency, brought three councils together to create a ground-breaking Families and Young Peoples strategy and much more. Our role now is to scrutinise all new proposals and hold the new administration to account.