A vote of no confidence in the leader of South Kesteven District Council failed this week – the Journal’s attempts to get to get to the bottom of members’ concerns were stonewalled.
The Journal understands that 18 members of the group voted in favour of the motion of no confidence in Coun Bob Adams, while 19 voted against it.
There are 45 members of the Conservative group and a majority of 23 would have to vote in favour of the motion for it to be carried.
Coun Adams, who has led the Conservative group for 17 months, remains leader of the group and leader of SKDC following the vote.
He refused to comment on Monday’s vote, while other members of the party stonewalled the Journal’s attempts to get to the bottom of the concerns raised.
The motion of no confidence was tabled on Monday night at a meeting of the Conservative Group in Bourne. If the vote had gone against Coun Adams, members of the Conservative Group would have had to vote for a new leader within a month’s time, also triggering an election for a new leader of the district council.
A vote of no confidence in the leader of South Kesteven District Council took place and failed, narrowly, to depose Coun Bob Adams.
The Journal asked Coun Adams for a comment on the leadership vote but he declined. We have tried to get a comment from a number of Conservative councillors on the leadership contest and have also been met with a ‘no comment’.
Leadership contests and disputes happen in councils up and down the land and in politics at all levels. But they are rarely greeted by such deafening silence when legitimate questions are asked by the media.
Some may say that it is understandable that the Tory group does not want to air its dirty washing in public but that is where we take issue with Coun Adams and those who declined to discuss the vote and the leadership debate. It is overwhelmingly in the public interest that local people are informed about the leadership contest and the reasons for it.
The public has a right to know.
The ruling Tory group’s decisions affect everyone. It is not an internal matter – it is a matter of who will lead the district council and we deserve to know what that leader thinks about the fact that he has been challenged and his plans now that he has retained his position.
Is the Conservative group now divided over many issues and Coun Adam’s leadership? Or is it solidly behind him having had a healthy debate and made its choice and is now united on driving forward the big issues? We don’t know because all the Journal, and therefore our readers, are being given is a ‘no comment’.
The people who voted councillors into power deserve a better explanation about what has happened and what the situation is going forward so they can have confidence in those they elected.
Silence does the council leader and the Conservative group no credit in this instance.