Combined voting sees key roles snatched from the largest group on Stockport Council

At the resumed Annual Council Meeting last night, Labour and Conservative members voted together to remove the Chairs of two key Scrutiny Committees from the Liberal Democrats, despite the Lib Dems being the largest party on the council, and reinforcing the fact that there is clearly an agreement between these Groups to operate in their own interests, riding roughshod over the Council’s constitution and what is best for good governance at the Town Hall.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Stockport, said: “The past three weeks have been a clear demonstration that Stockport now has a Conservative-backed Labour administration. Last night they voted together to secure the Chairs of the committees which scrutinise all of the council’s governance, finance and major investment. This was the third time in the last week that Labour and Conservative councillors have voted as a block.

“Those Chairs have the power to agree late items can be pushed through the decision-making process with minimal scrutiny and to agree which items can be kept from public view. Labour already have form for trying to do things behind closed doors, with their attempt to permanently shut down our wonderful, Carnegie-endowment Central Library, and to sell off Woodbank Hall. Now they have willing accomplices from the Conservative ranks installed in key positions.

“Much was made about this being all very ordinary and in the best interests of the borough, but the truth is this is simply a marriage of convenience, as the Lib Dems are the only challenge to Labour to run the council and the only challenge to the Conservatives in the parliamentary seats of Cheadle and Hazel Grove.

“The Liberal Democrats will hold this unholy alliance to account over the year ahead, and we will be urging residents to vote for a more positive outcome next May.”

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