Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cllr Angela Caldara removed from the Standards Committee

The issues of the proposed allowances increase rumbles on in Merton Council. At a meeting of the Standards Committee last week, Conservative councillor Angela Caladara again took a principled and courageous stand in opposing the proposed increase of 25& in allowances for the Cabinet and an allowance increase of nearly 10%on the basic allowance for councillors.

When it came to a vote on the allowances, the proposed increase was defeated with the independent members of Standards also opposing the increase(these are non-councillors and not Merton Park Independents). On increasing the basic allowance for councillors, only one Tory member of the committee, cabinet member Cllr David Simpson voted for the increase, two other Tory councillors abstained, Cllr Brian Lewis-Lavendar and Cllr Corinna Edge. Cllr Angela Caldara again opposed.

Following the vote and after Cllr David Williams the Tory leader and Cllr Rod Scott had left the room, a statement was read out by Angela Caldara. In the statement she announced 'that she'd been removed from the Standards Committee for refusing to vote for the allowance increase.' This was after the Leader David Williams had stated in the meeting 'that Tory members were not whipped on Standards'. Apparently only full council and the Chief Executive can remove members from committee, it remains to be seen whether she stays on Standards.

Of course, this left the Standards Committee in shock, no doubt we've not heard the last of this but it's clear that that the Tories are determined to get the allowance increase through despite disquiet within the ranks. Angela Caldara is a principled councillor, it's a shame a few more in the Tory group did not share her views as it's quite clear from statement she has made about the matter that they're determined to railroad the allowances through despite opposition from amongst their own ranks. The phrase 'Putting Themselves First' springs to mind for some Tory councillors.

It will be interesting to see what happens when it comes to Council. If they do not obtain the support from the Merton Park Independents, it will not pass through council and with Angela Caldara like to oppose the increase we could be in for another interesting meeting. With the tight numbers on the Council, if they abstain and another Tory councillor joins Angela Caldara it will not go through council.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmmm. Where does Cllr Warnes live again?

12:06 am  

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