Cllr Steve Foulkes, the Labour leader of Wirral Council, faces a motions of no confidence at the next Council meeting from Conservative and Lib Dem councillors, who if they vote together form a majority. This relates to the Martin Morton scandal during a previous period when Cllr Foulkes was Council leader – given which it is pretty disappointing that the Lib Dems have sustained a minority Labour administration under Cllr Foulkes since last May.
Conservative opposition leader Cllr Jeff Green says:
“Time has finally run out for Councillor Steve Foulkes and his discredited Labour Administration. The Klonowski Report has revealed failings which are matters for the Police and which have horrified people across this Borough. No Councillor could, with a conscience, allow this situation to continue. Carrying on as we are, simply rearranging job titles and procedures is not enough. This is why today I have submitted a resolution calling for the removal of Cllr. Foulkes as Leader, which will be considered by Council on the 13th February.
“Steve Foulkes was in control of the Council when these abuses were carried out and not properly investigated, therefore he must take ultimate responsibility. He did all he could to prevent and block my calls for an independent inquiry into Martin Morton’s revelations of abuse of some of our most vulnerable residents and it is only because of the previous Conservative Liberal Democrat administration that these facts and potential criminality have now become known to the rest of us.
“Currently the Council is in a state of paralysis, the Labour Administration’s response to this report has been shambolic. Vital information is still being withheld and let us not forget the cynical way in which Cllr. Foulkes has pretended to operate on an all party basis and yet two senior officers were allowed to leave with council taxpayers’ money in their pockets the day before the AKA report was made public. More of the same will not do; a fresh approach is what is required to remove the stain of this shameful scandal and to refocus the Council on its true role of providing services to the communities and people of Wirral.”
The Conservative motion says:
In accordance with Article 7.3 (iii) (d)
Proposed by Cllr Jeff Green
Seconded by Cllr Lesley Rennie
1) Wirral Council is in crisis:
We stand publically accused of mismanagement, incompetence, negligence and cover up.
We have been found guilty of failing to listen or believe Martin Morton and allowing him to be bullied, belittled, browbeaten and driven from a job he loved.
We have shown ourselves to be incapable or unwilling to apply basic controls on the expenditure of Council Taxpayers money or of being able to provide protection from abuse, compassion & care to some of the most vulnerable members of our society and their families.
Not one senior officer or politician has been held accountable by the Council for the failings identified in the AKA Limited report.
2) Council believes the nature of the crisis the Council now finds itself in is so grave, the imminence of collapse so real, that all Members must come together, under fresh leadership, to work together on behalf of our residents & communities, as equals and in genuine partnership.
3) Council resolves:
i) That, In accordance with Article 7.3 (iii) (d) of the Constitution, Cllr Foulkes be removed from the office of Leader of the Council with immediate effect.’
ii) That Council elect a new Leader in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 5B
4) The next Leader of the Council is recommended to:
Establish an all party ‘emergency Cabinet’ of 4 Conservative, 4 Labour and 2 Liberal Democrat Members to be reviewed at Annual Council 2012
Provide opportunities for all Council Members to question and share any ideas or concerns they may have
Review current officer delegations to ensure openness, transparency and effective democratic oversight of decision making.