Sack the Mayor - Row Follows Council Meeting
Furious Labour Group accuses Mayor of bias
Under the council's constitution the Mayor has absolute power to control meetings but usually rules by consent.
Labour leader Cllr Julian Bell says that Cllr Yerolemou used her powers to stop various opposition motions including ones on extending the recycling service to all flats in the Borough and the Acton Regeneration consultation plans.
The whole of the Labour group walked out of the meeting in protest.
Cllr Bell said:'' ...she attempted to gag opposition members and stop debate on opposition motions so that the Conservatives could debate their own motion slapping themselves on the back. Her behaviour was extremely partisan.''
Former Labour Mayor, Cllr Michael Elliott said, “Traditionally the Mayor has been a non-partisan figure who represents the whole community at public events and presides over Council meetings impartially. It is wrong for a Mayor to favour one political group over another or to ride roughshod over the views of members of the council”.
Cllr Yerolemou is the Conservative councillor for Hanger Hill.
Commenting in response to the allegations, Leader of the Council, Cllr Jason Stacey said
"Labour's behaviour last night was childish and unacceptable. Regardless of respective political labels, we always treat the Mayor with respect and the Mayor's word is final in how Council meetings are conducted.
"It is ironic that the Mayor was ensuring that all three of Labour's motions would be discussed within the meeting timeframe, and for that it seems Labour is calling for her dismissal. I am not sure how ensuring three consecutive Labour motions are debated can be deemed to favour the Conservative Group.
"Labour can play all the political games it wants. It is free to put down whatever motion it likes at the next Council meeting, but the Mayor is not going."
July 15, 2009