THE former leader of BCP Council has said she is frustrated that her Unity Alliance may not be able to build on “the strong foundations” it has built since being formed.

Councillor Vikki Slade was deposed in a Conservative-led vote of no confidence earlier this month and will have to win in a secret ballot on Thursday to be re-elected to the position.

She has criticised the “opportunistic power grab” of the opposition group following the death of two members of her coalition and said she hoped to win support to continue heading up the council.

Cllr Slade narrowly survived a first vote of no confidence in June but lost the second two weeks ago by 39 votes to 33.

On Thursday she will be nominated as the Unity Alliance candidate for the leader position and go up against Conservative group leader councillor Drew Mellor.

An earlier date had been considered but ruled out until after the scheduled September 30 cabinet meeting.

The vote of no confidence followed the deaths of two members of the Unity Alliance coalition and the decision of councillor Julie Bagwell to quit the group in the wake of the backlash over its active travel proposals.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s meeting, Cllr Slade said the past two weeks since the vote had been “very odd” with her and the council as a whole being forced to put work on hold until a new leader has been elected.

“Things are uncertain and they have changed,” she said. “I’ve noticed a change in language and people are clearly now having to wait to know what strategic direction the council is heading in.

She said the potential for the Conservative group to take over the running of the council from her coalition after less than 18 months was “incredibly frustrating”.

“We were never going to be able to deliver that much in terms of outcomes in the first year because of the way the councils came together last year,” she said.

“When you’re handed a council that hasn’t even got a management team it place, that doesn’t have a strategic direction and doesn’t even have a website that functions there’s a lot of background work you need to prioritise.

“That can’t be helped but you have to go through a process to harmonise these things and that takes a year or two to do.

“The first year of our work was really about foundation building and it’s frustrating for us because we’ve built a really strong foundation but it’s hard for the public to see the outcome of that.

“What is frustrating is that the Conservative group has seized on the deaths of two of our members in a bid to take power and prevent us from putting our initial planning work into action.”

The leadership vote will take place at an extraordinary meeting of the council on Thursday night with the new leader then selecting a deputy and their new cabinet.