Month: May 2017

More Tory troubles at Shirehall as Councillor Robert Tindall resigns whip

Robert Tindall, recently re-elected councillor for Brown Clee, has today announced his resignation from the Conservative group on Shropshire Council. I’m not surprised that Councillor Tindall has taken this action. He was one of at least three councillors from the south of the county that did not vote for the new leader of Shropshire Council, Peter Nutting. The makeup of the new cabinet has concentrated power further towards the north of the county.

Tory tensions show at Shropshire Council as new leader and cabinet installed

We knew there had been some shenanigans within the Conservative group on Shropshire Council but we weren’t quite expecting members to be so obvious about their tensions in public. At today’s meeting of the full council, Peter Nutting was voted in as leader. That was a foregone conclusion as he had been elected Conservative leader days before. But three or more members of the Conservative group sat on their hands and failed to vote for him. Later there was an extraordinary outburst from one Tory councillor who was outraged by the paucity of councillors from the south of the county in cabinet positions or chairing the key scrutiny committees.

Copthorne councillor Peter Nutting, elected as leader of Conservative group on Shropshire Council last night, spoke to BBC Radio Shropshire about his forthcoming role as leader of the council. He talked about the council becoming a “doing council” and of investment in the business parks in market towns. He wants better quality jobs and sees opportunities arising from HS2 and building a Shropshire airport. In a reference to previous leaders, he said he was not panicked about money, declaring that “Shropshire is not a poor council.”

Just a week ago, Malcolm Pate, the leader of Shropshire Council until the 4 May elections, was confident of being re-elected as leader of the Conservative group on Shropshire Council. The Conservative leader is always voted in as leader of the council. Now, the Conservative group have ousted Pate and replaced him by Shrewsbury councillor, Peter Nutting. Only a week ago, Malcolm Pate used an interview on BBC Radio Shropshire to boast of his confidence in seeing off any “superegos” that might challenge him. His task, he told the interviewers, was to get “the council out of the mire it was in when I took over 15 months ago.”  His belief that he had the backing of his Tory colleagues has proved to be wrong.

I have received several disturbing reports about people being denied the opportunity to vote at the Shropshire Council unitary elections on 4 May. One report is of a postal vote denied, even though the voter had used the same details since 2009. I have more reports of people being asked for evidence of identity at one polling station. Some people, I hear, were turned away before casting their vote. There is no requirement for a polling card or proof of identity at a polling station. Before I make a formal complaint about this, I need more details. Please contact me if you have been affected. Your response will be anonymous. 01584 874029

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