THE leader of BCP Council has said the proof of his administration's success was "clear" in response to a motion of no confidence from opposition members.

Councillor Drew Mellor, who has been at the helm of the local authority since September 2020, said his Conservative group were the "grown ups".

As reported, the Christchurch Independents group submitted a motion, which will be tabled at extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday, May 10, with a vote set to take place.

This was sparked by events on Tuesday, April 26, in which opposition groups have alleged Conservative members who gave apologises for absence and had tested positive for Covid arrived in the Bournemouth Town Hall chamber midway through a meeting.

The session was adjourned until May 10 due to a "health and safety" risk assessment. The council has still not provided any further details on the situation.

Responding to the submission of the motion of no confidence, Cllr Mellor said: "Since becoming leader, we have reversed the previous policies of the Liberal Democrat-led alliance of high council tax and "we know best" attitude.

"They closed roads without consultation, called major incidents on the beach, and left us with a £50m black hole.

"Instead, we're putting record investment into making our region clean and safe, all the while freezing council tax and increasing our unearmarked reserves.

"That’s what residents want - not cruel tactics to try and smear good people."

He added: "The proof of this success is clear - in only the last year we have won a local by-election against the opposition and four further Councillors have chosen to join the Conservatives, in recognition that we are the grown ups.

"Accordingly, I relish the opportunity to reaffirm all the work we’re doing and I hope that when we clearly win this vote, the opposition will respect that decision and move on sensibly.”

Regarding the town hall meeting earlier this week, Councillor Mellor said: “Tuesday night showed the very worse version of local politics.

"Whilst we were calmly taking though a number of important items, including proposals for a record number of new affordable homes, the opposition parties just wanted to play politics.

"Firstly by calling for an important vote whilst one of our older members was in the toilet, knowing that that vote down would make a difference, and then falsely claiming that some of our colleagues were breaching government covid guidance, which resulted in the meeting being adjourned. Residents deserve better." 

Meanwhile, BCP Council officers have refused to provide any details on the format or timescale for the review into the events at Tuesday's meeting.

No response was provided to questions on who is leading the review, if its findings would be made available to the public and if its findings would be known before full council resumes on May 10.

The council has announced an extraordinary full council meeting, which is scheduled to take place after the adjourned meeting concludes but before the annual meeting.

The extraordinary meeting agenda, agreed to by council chair Cllr Nigel Hedges, contains one item - the Christchurch Independents motion of no confidence.

No such meetings were made when Cllr Mellor tabled his two - one unsuccessful and one successful - no confidence motions in the then leader Cllr Vikki Slade.

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