York Council leader faces no-confidence vote

York Council leader James Alexander
York Council leader James Alexander
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York Conservatives will seek a vote of no confidence in the city’s Labour council leader, it was announced this morning.

The ruling Labour group recently lost its overall council majority after a series of defections meaning Coun Alexander could lose the vote if the opposition groups unite.

Conservative group leader Coun Chris Steward said: “Coun Alexander has ridden roughshod over this council for three-and-a-half years. His ego-driven mode of leadership concentrating on flashy vanity projects and attempts to “big up” York for his own personal aggrandisement has been matched only by his ineptitude in understanding York residents and their real concerns: good basic services carried out to a high standard. Since Labour lost its overall control of the council last month it has became evident that a new style of leader is necessary to work with the new political balance until the elections in May, and Coun Alexander is clearly not that leader.

“Whilst we recognise Labour as the party with the most councillors with the right to continue as the party in administration until May, we cannot lose valuable months in a stalemate with a council leader who is working for his future career path rather than the needs of York’s residents.

“ It is unfortunate that Coun Alexander never learned that it is not enough to have the most councillors to govern; you have to have the talent and political nous to bring people along with you rather than to rule under the illusion that you have some kind of ultimate ‘mandate’.”

The no-confidence motion will be considered at the next full council meeting on December 11.

A Labour group spokesman said: ““This may be the sixth or seventh time the Tories have called for a leading cabinet member to resign and this repetition shows the desperation of the Tories to get Labour out. Tories know full well people decide who lead the council in a local election and they know they cannot win a local election in York because people do not trust them to stand up for public services when their Government is forcing cuts on York.

“This is why they resort to such desperate tactics.”