A motion of no confidence in the leader of Scarborough Council will be heard tomorrow, which could leave the borough authority facing big changes.
Representatives of two independent groups and the Conservatives submitted the no-confidence motion in Labour’s Steve Siddons before Christmas, saying he had failed to follow through on the promises he made when he was elected in May.
The move could see the Conservatives or the independents take control of the council.
The motion will be debated and voted upon at a special meeting of the full council tomorrow at 2.30pm. A simple majority is needed to decide the motion.
Convention dictates that a leader who loses a no-confidence motion should resign. Should Cllr Siddons lose the vote and step down, a ballot to replace him will be held before Monday’s full council meeting, with those wishing to be on the ballot having to submit their names by Sunday evening.
Since the local elections seven months ago the 13-strong Labour Group has been running the 46-member council with the support of the 10 Independent Group councillors and two Green Party councillors.
The no-confidence motion was proposed by Cllr Bill Chatt, a cabinet member under the previous Conservative regime and now the leader of the three-strong Cluster of Independent Members (CIM) group.
The motion was also signed by two Conservative councillors and Independent Group leader Cllr Sam Cross. Independent Cllr John Casey was the final signatory.
Cllr Chatt told the Local Democracy Reporting Service last month that there had been no communication from the leader and it had lead to councillors losing confidence in the direction of the council.
He also pointed to December’s general election result saying “the people of Scarborough clearly said they preferred the Conservatives over Labour”.
Labour leader Cllr Siddons has previously called the motion an “unnecessary distraction” and also said Cllr Cross’ wish to be deputy leader in a new cabinet structure led to the breakdown of the relationship between Labour and the Independent Group.
Cllr Cross has denied the deputy leadership issue was a factor in him supporting the no-confidence motion.
Should Cllr Siddons step down, potential frontrunners mentioned to the Local Democracy Reporting Service to succeed him include Cllr Chatt, Cllr Cross, former council leader Conservative Derek Bastiman, Independent Group member Andrew Backhouse and current deputy leader and Labour councillor Liz Colling.