Garry Hague loses vote of no confidence but remains leader

Thurrock Gazette: Council leader Garry Hague Council leader Garry Hague

CALLS have been made for Garry Hague to resign as leader of Thurrock Council after he lost a vote of no confidence.

The motion was brought by former council leader Anne Cheale, who was kicked out of the Tory group on Monday, and supported by all 23 Labour councillors and BNP councillor Emma Colgate.

Cllr Hague doesn’t have to resign because there is nothing in the council’s constitution which says he must.

He said he refused to give the motion any “credence” and said of his position: “I believe I have lead this council with professionalism, integrity, and vigour.”

Cllr Cheale revealed that she had tabled the motion because she felt Garry Hague was letting officers run the show at the authority, and he should have stepped in when planning officers called in a barrister over two “unlawful” decisions made by councillors on the planning committee in January.

She was backed up by the BNP’s Emma Colgate who said that Garry hague did not stick up for councillors in meetings where they felt “attacked” by officers.

She said: “It feels like he is almost scared to question officers and executives for fear of them saying something he doesn’t like.”

Cllr Hague said cllr Cheale’s claims that he had brought the council into disrepute were “ill conceived, unsubstantiated, unjustified, and without foundation.”

He added: “It does no good for members or this council.”

Councillor Cheale summed up her motion by insinuating that Garry Hague was just all talk.

She said: “A man of just words and no deeds is like a garden full of weeds.”

The Tory leader was supported by all of his group, except Anne Cheale’s Corringham and Fobbing colleague Ian Harrison, who left the chamber for the vote of no confidence.

Former Conservative mayor John Everett poured scorn on Anne Cheale, calling her time as leader of the council “unpleasant” adding: “It was like a dictatorship”.

Cllr Hague was also backed up by the two Independent councillors, John Purkiss and Barry Palmer, bringing the vote to 23 against 25.

Independent leader cllr Palmer said the motion made him “feel sick” and was the actions of a “woman scorned”.

He also sits on the planning committee and said the committee had been told it was wrong and “some members just can’t take it”.

He said he was ashamed of the chamber and added: “All this is just political point scoring from one to the other, we are all in the mire together here.”

Leader of the Labour group John Kent , who now has 23 councillors to the Conservatives’ 22, said that he couldn't believe Cllr Hague had "lost a vote of no confidence and survived it at the same time".

Comments (4)

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10:12am Thu 25 Feb 10

wobblybob says...

Labour got us into this mess by making Thurrock a unitary council, a power grab on their part which has cost us rate-payers thousands.
The conservatives have been trying to make best of that mill-stone, though not very sucessfully.
Not helped by the fact that Labour has tried to block every reform, even some they themselves were considering before losing power.
Best course in my view would be to disband the untiary council and become part of Essex again!!
Labour got us into this mess by making Thurrock a unitary council, a power grab on their part which has cost us rate-payers thousands. The conservatives have been trying to make best of that mill-stone, though not very sucessfully. Not helped by the fact that Labour has tried to block every reform, even some they themselves were considering before losing power. Best course in my view would be to disband the untiary council and become part of Essex again!! wobblybob
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Thu 25 Feb 10

Nye Bevin says...

It really is an unedifying sight, to see two former leaders of the council try and plunge the direction of the borough into a constitutional crisis.

If Cllr Cheale had been sincere in her intentions she would have left the Conservatives and allowed the electorate to judge whether it had faith in the administration in 10 weeks time. It was simple.

However, she chose to seek solace with Labour by allowing Cllr Hipsey to second her motion. His agenda is one dripping with menace and revenge and they have both shown themselves to be equally irresponsible by using their elected positions to take a pot-shot at someone they dislike – who I add, has more commendable skill and leadership than they did.

Thurrock Council will now endure 10 weeks of constitutional crisis, with the Conservatives trying to run services whilst Labour plot ways to paralyse and sabotage its control.

Cllr Cheale arrived at the helm of Thurrock in 2004, as the first Conservative leader ever to win outright control of the council. She has now left the Conservatives and sits as a lonely embittered councillor, who has almost brought the council to its knees. That is such a derisory legacy from such ambitions of hope
It really is an unedifying sight, to see two former leaders of the council try and plunge the direction of the borough into a constitutional crisis. If Cllr Cheale had been sincere in her intentions she would have left the Conservatives and allowed the electorate to judge whether it had faith in the administration in 10 weeks time. It was simple. However, she chose to seek solace with Labour by allowing Cllr Hipsey to second her motion. His agenda is one dripping with menace and revenge and they have both shown themselves to be equally irresponsible by using their elected positions to take a pot-shot at someone they dislike – who I add, has more commendable skill and leadership than they did. Thurrock Council will now endure 10 weeks of constitutional crisis, with the Conservatives trying to run services whilst Labour plot ways to paralyse and sabotage its control. Cllr Cheale arrived at the helm of Thurrock in 2004, as the first Conservative leader ever to win outright control of the council. She has now left the Conservatives and sits as a lonely embittered councillor, who has almost brought the council to its knees. That is such a derisory legacy from such ambitions of hope Nye Bevin
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Thu 25 Feb 10

Make Thurrock Better says...

"

wobblybob, Grays says...
10:12am Thu 25 Feb 10
Labour got us into this mess by making Thurrock a unitary council, a power grab on their part which has cost us rate-payers thousands.
The conservatives have been trying to make best of that mill-stone, though not very sucessfully.
Not helped by the fact that Labour has tried to block every reform, even some they themselves were considering before losing power.
Best course in my view would be to disband the untiary council and become part of Essex again!!"

Spot on. Except for Essex would rather stick needles in their eyes than have us back.

All of this unitary rubbish should be abandoned and Southend, Thurrock and Essex should be under one roof.It's aready happening with FE in the area with South Essex College taking over. It would also bring more choice for our council tennants who are presently stuck in this little corner of Essex with no hope of a move outside it.
" wobblybob, Grays says... 10:12am Thu 25 Feb 10 Labour got us into this mess by making Thurrock a unitary council, a power grab on their part which has cost us rate-payers thousands. The conservatives have been trying to make best of that mill-stone, though not very sucessfully. Not helped by the fact that Labour has tried to block every reform, even some they themselves were considering before losing power. Best course in my view would be to disband the untiary council and become part of Essex again!!" Spot on. Except for Essex would rather stick needles in their eyes than have us back. All of this unitary rubbish should be abandoned and Southend, Thurrock and Essex should be under one roof.It's aready happening with FE in the area with South Essex College taking over. It would also bring more choice for our council tennants who are presently stuck in this little corner of Essex with no hope of a move outside it. Make Thurrock Better
  • Score: 0

10:10am Fri 26 Feb 10

Baphomet says...

Lets have a military coup, I'm off to the Army & Navy store if anybody wants anything? We will start with Thurrock and then move on to Downing Street, all going well I will be in power by the end of next week.
Lets have a military coup, I'm off to the Army & Navy store if anybody wants anything? We will start with Thurrock and then move on to Downing Street, all going well I will be in power by the end of next week. Baphomet
  • Score: 0

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