At last week's Council meeting, Labour councillors backed an unpleasant and astonishing motion attacking the Mayor, Cllr Adronie Alford. This was because she had followed legal advice and allowed on vote on whether or not extra business should be added to the previous meeting an Extraordinary Council Meeting. In fairness it should be noted that several Labour councillors looked embarassed at the attack on the Mayor from their colleagues and refused to applaud the speeches from their own side.
This was the speech opposing the motion from her predecessor Cllr Alex Karmel.
May I first say that as the immediate past Mayor I fully understand the difficulties that chairing a meeting comprising 46 politicians presents, especially when it was an election year in my case. It is a challenging task.
The Mayor also has a civic role as the First Citizen of the Borough.. If you look on the table in front of you will see a report listing over 40 engagements that the Mayor has carried out in the last month. I am sure that we can all agree that Cllr. Alford has been exemplary in carrying out these duties.
Moving onto the subject of the motion before us I think that it is of vital importance that we consider this motion in the light of historical context. Extraordinary Meetings of this Council have only ever been for the business for which they had been requisitioned.
Mr. Deputy Mayor, this evening we have seen a display of hypocrisy that even by the low standards of the Opposition is breathtaking. Earlier this evening the Opposition attempted to use Standing Order 15 (e) (ix) to adjourn debate on an item. This is exactly the same Standing Order that was used to adjourn the Special Motions at the Extraordinary Council Meeting to their proper place on this Agenda.
At the Extraordinary Meeting the Opposition would have us believe that the use of this Standing Order was an affront to democracy. At this meeting it is suddenly in the Opposition’s eye the saviour of democracy.
The Mayor dealt with the two uses of the Standing Order in exactly the same way. This seems to me, Mr Deputy Mayor, to be correct and impartial way to deal with procedural motions – unless the Opposition believe in double standards, actually they must do or this motion would not be on the Agenda tonight.