by Ian Shires on 16 May, 2018
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. Cllr Bird, seeing that his bully boy tactics weren’t going to work, reached for the nuclear button – and pressed it sending Walsall Council spinning right back to the bad old days of the 1990’s. The only difference this time round being that it’s not the far left that’s driving us over the cliff edge, it’s the far right in the form of Walsall’s Tories.
Cllr Bird tries to justify his ruthless treatment of the Mayor Elect, Cllr Paul Bott by saying that he has 30 of the council’s 60 seats so he should take over. Problem with that is that there are another 30 Councillors who think he shouldn’t. The impasse can only be broken by the casting vote of the Mayor at the Adjourned Annual Council meeting on Wednesday 23 May 2018. By then the Mayor, on seniority should be Cllr Paul Bott (Ind Darlaston South). Or will that be the case?
In a desperate bid to grab control Walsall’s Tory Leader Cllr Mike Bird contacted Cllr Bott and threatened not to support him as the Mayor for 2018/19 by forcing a vote at the Mayor making on Monday 21 May 2018 to install a Tory into the post on the casting vote of the current Mayor Cllr Longhi (Con). This would be a major departure from a long standing all Party protocol which supports the concept of the Mayor being decided on seniority. That being the case then the next Mayor of Walsall should be Cllr Paul Bott.
Cllr Bird can argue that he has the moral high ground as much as he likes. He might have 30 seats but across Walsall more people voted against him and his Tories than voted for him he hasn’t got a majority on the Council and no amount of gerrymandering of the protocols can justify what is about to happen. Is it any wonder that people feel the way they do about politicians when there egos transcend common decency?2 Comments