Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location.
Contact: Clive Willoughby Tel: 01946 598328
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence received at this meeting.
Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items
There were no Declarations of Interest made.
Requisition, made under rule 3.1(b) of chapter 5 of the Constitution, received from Councillors Michael McVeigh, Gwynneth Everett, John Kane, Allan Forster and Sam Pollen for an extraordinary meeting of Council to be held, such signed requisition being attached to this agenda. PDF 65 KB
Councillor Michael McVeigh as Labour Group Leader presented the Requisition to Council on behalf of the Requisitioners.
The requisition stated that: The Mayor has taken an extraordinary step which betrays the spirit of democracy for residents in this borough.
In joining a political party, just a year after promising voters that he would keep politics out of local government, he has undermined the democratic process and removed the mandate with which he had been entrusted by the people of Copeland.
That he has done so without coming before Council and explaining his actions is a further dereliction of his duty to the electorate.
Therefore, we are writing to you as Chair of the Council, to raise the following requisition, in order to drag Mr Starkie into the Council chamber, and to ask him, formally, to put people before politics’
Mayor Mike Starkie responded by stating his reasons for joining the Conservative party. That the Government’s agenda aligned with his own and that he was doing the best for local issues and that he had had the support of Government over the last five years.
He emphasised that there had been no change in his policies.
The Mayor then provided clarification of the Elected Mayoral model and how it worked. He continued to set out the Council’s financial position and the Government help received, to write–off bad debt and to buy the Copeland Centre, as well as following the cyber attack and now Covid-19.
He concluded that during the time he has been Mayor there has been no service cuts and the Council Tax increases had been less than inflation.
Questions were then taken from Members.
Councillor Dinsdale asked a question of Councillor Moore regarding Councillor McGrath changing from Conservative to Independent in November 2019, when he stated that the local people had a right to feel disappointed. Did the local people have a right to feel disappointed with the Mayor?
Councillor Moore responded that he did say that but Councillor McGrath had since been welcomed back to the Conservatives. There was also no option to call a by-election when some Members did change party.
Councillor D Wilson asked for the views of the Mayor regarding ex-Councillor Robin Pitt who left Conservative to join Labour.
The Mayor replied that Councillor Pitt was before his time, but this had happened a number of times in the past and has never sparked a by-election.
Councillor Morgan called for unity, for the Council to work together and move forward. He asked if the Mayor would consider reinstating the Labour members to his Executive.
In response, the Mayor stated that he would have been happy to continue with Councillors Everett and McVeigh on the Executive, but the Labour group had already published an attack on him.
Councillor Hawkins quoted the Mayor’s election material stating ‘Your Mayor, not a party Mayor’ had been removed from social media sites and that he had sold enough insurance to fund his election campaign. Why was he not standing down ... view the full minutes text for item C 20/31