Opinion: Voting left a very bad taste in the mouth - Duncan Crow
Last Friday evening was Crawley Borough Council’s Annual Council meeting, which happens every year following May’s local elections.
This year saw a decisive Conservative victory, winning eight seats won to Labour’s six, and a 10% winning vote share across the town of 49% to 39%.
Having won these local elections and with us Conservatives being the largest party as determined by the voters of Crawley, with 18 out of 36 seats to Labour’s 17 and 1 Independent, it was right for us to try and form a new Conservative Administration with our tabling of a No Confidence vote.
However, the first item at the meeting was the election of Mayor and because the ‘casting vote’ was in the hands of the outgoing Labour Deputy Mayor, I tabled a procedural motion to suspend the rule that allowed this casting vote.
My motion passed and ironically, this was the only contested vote all evening that wasn’t determined by Labour using a mayoral casting vote to Labour’s advantage.
Labour’s mayoral casting votes were consistently used throughout the evening to enable Labour to cling on to power.
The Deputy Mayor used this route to become the Mayor and Labour also shamelessly seized the Deputy Mayor and additional roles for themselves.
All this leaves a very bad taste in the mouth, leaving Crawley Borough Council with a Labour/Independent Administration with about the same legitimacy as if Donald Trump had found a way to cling on to power after losing the US presidential election.
All this said, despite being locked out of power in the most dubious of ways, as leader of the largest party in Crawley, I will work constructively with all other Councillors to ensure Crawley has a Council that continues to support our town.