THERE will be no change to the leadership of BCP Council after a vote of no confidence put forward by the opposition Conservative group failed.

With nothing to split those in favour and those against the motion against councillor Vikki Slade at Tuesday night’s meeting, council chairman, Christchurch Indepenent David Flagg, used his casting vote to reject it.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Slade said the past week had been “horrible” but praised the support she had received from the public and from fellow councillors.

BCP Council's ruling Unity Alliance coalition has operated as a minority administration since the death of Christchurch Independent councillor Colin Bungey in April.

Following this, Conservative leader councillor Drew Mellor approached Cllr Slade about forming a united ruling group, with some members of his group assuming senior positions.

But this was “flatly rejected” by Cllr Slade who said it would have meant sidelining members of some of the smaller groups in her coalition.

On Tuesday, at the first full meeting of the council since February, Cllr Mellor called a vote of no confidence in her leadership.

He said he appreciated the “enormous effort and tireless dedication” of Cllr Slade but said a majoirty administration was needed to respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is not the time to be bringing a motion of no confidence," he said. "This is the time for us all to sit down as adults and come together.

"If the leader is unable to see that, if the 36 councillors in the Alliance are unable to do that, then I believe it is my duty, as the leader of a group of 36 councillors to try to do it."

However, the only support he gained from outside his group was the independent – former Bournemouth Conservative – councillor Stephen Bartlett.

With Ukip councillor Diana Butler abstaining, the final vote was 37 councillors for the vote of no confidence and 37 against.

It then went to a casting vote from Cllr Flagg who, dedicating his second vote to Colin Bungey, threw out the motion.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Slade said she was "proud" of the work the Unity Alliance had done and for the contributions made in her support.

“It’s been the most horrible week,” Cllr Slade said. “But the public have been so nice and their comments have been really heartening.

"The Unity Alliance came together out of a set of principles, including a desire to get more people to feel like they are included.

"I could not be more proud of some of the – particularly younger – members who gave some incredible speeches and that shows me democracy in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is in safe hands."