THE second vote of no confidence in the leader of BCP Council will be considered at its meeting this evening (Tuesday).

The previous attempt by the Conservative opposition to remove councillor Vikki Slade narrowly failed in June by the casting vote of the council’s chairman.

But the decision of independent councillor Julie Bagwell to leave the ruling coalition has spurred a second motion which will be heard later today.

The vote was put forward by Conservative group leader, councillor Drew Mellor, at the beginning of the month, in time to be considered at this month’s full council meeting.

He pointed to “a number of decisions” made by the council in recent weeks “without proper consultation”, hitting out particularly at the controversial active travel schemes being implemented.

“Ward councillors were only consulted or informed, once plans were set to be implemented,” his motion will say. “This has resulted in a high level of public frustration and mistrust.

“It is clear that the Unity Alliance administration is making decisions and plans without due regard to resident, business, visitor or councillor comment or suggestions.

“This council therefore has no confidence in the current administration to deliver for the residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and seeks the removal from office of its leader.”

Councillors will be asked to support the motion at this evening’s meeting with the Conservative group confident they now have enough support for it to succeed.

But members of the Unity Alliance have said they are taking advantage of a numbers advantage which has been brought about partly with the recent deaths of Christchurch Independent Colin Bungey and Liberal Democrat Pete Parrish.

Cllr Slade said: “This is incredibly bad for the residents of the area, for business and for the [council] staff who have been working so hard throughout the pandemic.”

Unity Alliance chairwoman, councillor L-J Evans, said she was “shocked and appalled” the vote had been called so soon after the death of Cllr Parrish and the failure of the previous vote.

“After our colleagues’ deaths we no longer have a majority and are unable to resolve this until by-elections can be held in May 2021,” she said. “Let us not forget that this is happening during a global pandemic, at a time when the council needs stability.”

She said consultation on the active travel schemes had been carried out in line with the terms of the government-funded initiative with consultation taking place during the trial of the measures.

Should the motion pass, a future vote for a new leader of the council will have to be held.

We will bring you live updates from the meeting tonight online.