As reported live during last night’s meeting, a cabinet reshuffle has taken place within the Isle of Wight Council (catch up here).
Speaking at the annual general meeting last night (Wednesday), Conservative Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart,
“Cllr Peace has stepped down due to personal and business commitments.
“I wish him and his family well.”
Chair and vice Chair
Meanwhile, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox (Ind) was re-elected as chairman and Cllr George Cameron (Con) was re-elected as vice chair.
Cllr Geoff Brodie (Independent Labour) raised the issue of cabinet accountability, and a recommendation for a members’ question time of the council leader was passed. However, opposition councillors called for all cabinet members to be available for questioning.
Cllr Julia Baker-Smith (Labour) said:
“It’s a step in the right direction but other councils in the country are not this restrictive in their level of questioning.
“The cabinet are scared of having questions thrown at them to which they don’t know the answer.”
Conservative councillor Chris Whitehouse (Con) defended the decision, saying it was ‘courageous’ of the council leader to ‘put himself in the firing line’ by answering questions on the cabinet’s behalf.
Addressing the opposition’s concerns, he said:
“I want to see democracy introduced, but if members are going to posture and prattle on we should just withdraw the motion.”
Mental Health motion
Independent Green councillor Michael Lilley’s motion on mental health was also passed.
Cllr Lilley asked the council to reaffirm its commitment to the aims and objectives of the Local Authority Mental Health Challenge, which it signed up to in 2017.
Motions by Cllr Brodie
Cllr Brodie withdrew his motion calling for increasing cabinet accountability, but asked Cllr Stewart to, “reach out more”.
Cllr Brodie’s second motion — which asked the council to call on the government to stop spending money on war in the Middle East and instead spend it on public services — did not pass.
Cllr Brodie said the amount of money spent on recent missiles in Syria (£6.4m) was the same amount Portsmouth University said it costs the Isle of Wight Council to run.
Other councillors elected to chair committees are:
- Scrutiny committee — Cllr Andrew Garratt (LibDem)
- Vice Chair scrutiny — Michael Lilley
- Policy and scrutiny committee for children’s services — Vanessa Churchman (Con)
- Scrutiny for regeneration, planning, housing and the environment — Steve Hastings (Con)
- Audit committee — Cllr Adrian Axford (Con)
- Planning committee — Cllr Christopher Quirk (Con)
- Vice Chair planning — Cllr Matthew Price (Con)
- Licensing committee — Cllr Charles Chapman (Con)
- Appeals committee — Cllr John Kilpatrick (Con)
- Isle of Wight pension fund committee — Cllr Adrian Axford (Con)
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed