As many of you will have known, last night Vikki and the Unity Alliance faced their greatest challenge yet. In the wake of the of the tragic death of UA member Cllr Colin Bungey, and the pandemic that prevent a by-election of his successor, the Conservatives tried to exploit the situation to take power. Conservative Leader Drew Mellor had written not one but two letters, explicitly stating that he would not call a vote of no confidence to exploit a death and a national crisis for his own gain. Sadly, he changed his mind. The move was met with widespread outrage among both the Alliance and the public, nobody could believe that this was the right time for such a move and its destabilising effects. We have been so overcome with support from members, supporters and residents who simply just like the way the UA proves open, transparent and cooperative politics works for all. We cannot thank you enough, whether you signed the petition, emailed your councillor, wrote to the echo or just simply liked and shared things on social media you played a crucial role.
When the vote of no confidence was proposed just a week ago, we told you that the Unity Alliance would meet this challenge, as they had every other, head on and united. That is exactly what happened last night. Member after member of the Unity Alliance spoke passionately in support of Vikki and her administration and their disgust at the exploitation of one of their colleague’s death, from all kinds of political colours, from Labour and Green to former-Conservative. This contrasted so starkly with the total lack of members who were willing to do as told and support this motion when it came down it, but not to speak out in favour, the few that did all began by acknowledging the fantastic job Vikki was doing as leader. Which begged the question why such a cheap political stunt to replace her at all?
After all those who wished to speak had done so, the vote began. For what seem like eternity the roll was called, and one by one councillors gave their vote. In spite of the constraints of this pandemic and the odd technical glitch, we eventually arrived at a declared result. A tie of 37 in favour and 37 against. The deciding vote fell to Cllr David Flagg as chairman of the Council who vote against the motion and dedicated his doing so to his late friend and colleague Colin Bungey. Perhaps the most touching possible culmination to a dramatic and emotional evening. Thus, justice prevailed and Vikki retained her place as the elected Leader of BCP. Perhaps this is the most frustrating aspect of the whole saga, the Conservatives intentionally jeopardised the local response to this crisis in the face of widespread condemnation and it was simply all for nothing.
For those of you who would like to watch last night’s proceedings the footage can be found here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXhZuVQjuU4&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0SWG0I3CZRTiPJQcxUCzcXyE-uc_EaKp5lYcvJCs_VDyd82Lj-AQEydgE the speeches on the motion began at 2 hours and 10 minutes in, many of these are fantastic and well worth listening to! The vote finally begans at about 3 hours and 30 minutes.