The mayor of Ryde, Cllr Michael Lilley, said he had ‘never felt so low’ after seven town councillors tabled a motion of no confidence against him.
Ryde Town Council is due to hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the motion.
Criticised for “lack of transparency”
A letter sent to Cllr Michael Lilley, calling for the meeting, criticised a lack of transparency, inclusion and respect shown to colleagues.
The signatories said they had no confidence in five colleagues — Cllrs Lilley, deputy mayor Adrian Axford, Phil Jordan, Nancy Farrell and Diana Conyers.
The move comes after two clerks left the council. The letter’s signatories said a town council panel that negotiated their terms went beyond their remit.
Unable to publicly dispute accusations
Cllr Lilley said he had been unable to discuss the issue for confidential reasons. He said it had been difficult for him personally, as he was unable to publicly dispute the accusations.
He said in a public statement today (Thursday):
“I assure everyone we have acted totally ethically, with integrity and propriety.
“For many months, some other councillors have pressed for me to resign and, on Friday, some members are calling a no confidence vote in me and five other councillors.
“I would welcome your support.
“It is hard when you know people are saying malicious things about you but you have to keep confidentiality as an honourable person when others simply do not and spread untruths.
“I have never felt so low for a long time.”
Wakeley: “Feel they have acted outside of their powers”
One of the signatories, Cllr Tim Wakeley, has also raised concerns the council may lack the ‘power of competence’ to make decisions without qualified clerks.
Speaking last week, he said:
“There has been a lot of tension in the council. Due to the unhappiness, we are seeking the meeting to pursue a motion of no confidence, where we can express our views about the processes that have been employed and explore the consequences.
“At an informal meeting, the panel could not identify the powers they used in our standing orders. In other words, we feel they have acted outside of their powers.”
Another signatory, Cllr Henry Adams, accused members of ‘covering up’ the issue and said they needed to be more transparent.
Other signatories were Cllrs Julian Critchley, Jim Moody, Sue Lyons, Ian Stephens and Karen Lucioni.
Lilley: “Worked hard to support local people”
Cllr Lilley said he cared deeply about Ryde and had always tried to do his best as a councillor.
“As mayor, I have worked hard to support local people and the community.
“I have supported Ryde along with some good councillors to get the Historic High Street zone funds, moved towards getting Ryde Town Council to take over the Harbour from Isle of Wight Council, to get Appley Tower into community ownership, among many other things.”
The extraordinary meeting will take place tomorrow (Friday), at 7pm, at the George Street Centre.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh