Labour’s dismay as mayor retains role

This Is Wiltshire: Mayor Nick Martin arrives to face the vote of no confidence Mayor Nick Martin arrives to face the vote of no confidence

THERE has been a mixed reaction to the mayor’s survival of a vote of no confidence at a special council meeting on Thursday evening.

A motion was put forward by the Labour Group calling for Coun Nick Martin (Con, Shaw) to stand down as mayor after accusations that he made insulting remarks about people with learning difficulties.

At a closed meeting in October he is alleged to have said: “They aren’t still letting those mongols have sex with each other are they?” However, the mayor survived after an amendment to the motion by the Conservatives said that to vote him out would be to effectively find him guilty before anything had been proven.

He is due to face a standards hearing next year.

The initial motion was tabled by Labour Group Leader Coun Jim Grant (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney) who argued that the standards committee will investigate Coun Martin’s role as a councillor and not as a mayor.

He argued that because of this and the damage of the allegations, Coun Martin should be removed to preserve the integrity of the title.

After the meeting, Coun Grant expressed his dismay at the outcome of the meeting which passed the amendment at 27 votes to 25.

He said: “I am obviously very disappointed with the result and that the mayor is still in place.

“This was an issue of morality and honour and we did not see that today. “What it is worth noting is that the mayor received support from less than 50 per cent of the councillors.

“If the Conservatives believed in the mayor why did they not vote against the motion and instead table the amendment?

“We now have this mayor for three months until the standards hearing takes place.”

Coun Grant said during the meeting that he would accept the mayor being suspended until the hearing, with a temporary Conservative mayor taking over the role, but this was dismissed by Coun Martin.

The leader of the council, David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) has said the motion was premature and it was right for the standards process to take its course.

He also said if any person holding the position of mayor feels the allegations are affecting the reputation of the office then it is for them to make a decision on whether or not to carry on.

“I wish, as I’m sure that every other councillor does, that we did not have to vote on this issue in the first place,” said Coun Renard.

“I think it was premature and the system run its course before taking such action. The decision on whether to stand down is down to the mayor. “Even if the vote had been lost then there is no obligation on him to stand down.

“The role of the mayor is to represent Swindon in the best possible way. If the situation prevents the beholdent from doing this then it is their decision whether or not to carry on.”

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:21am Sat 21 Dec 13

Ringer says...

A spectacular error of judgement by Jim Grant over this - surely his position as local Labour group leader has become untenable.
A spectacular error of judgement by Jim Grant over this - surely his position as local Labour group leader has become untenable. Ringer

10:54am Sat 21 Dec 13

RichardR1 says...

Let's not forget Martin was censured for misconduct before he became Mayor, he should have stood down at that point. But we know Politicians have little integrity, they have to be forced to quit.
Let's not forget Martin was censured for misconduct before he became Mayor, he should have stood down at that point. But we know Politicians have little integrity, they have to be forced to quit. RichardR1

10:59am Sat 21 Dec 13

Davey Gravey says...

None of them come out of this with any credit. Just scrap having a mayor altogether.
I'd like to see most of the councillors removed as the town is a mess. Towing party lines and petty squabbling is not doing the town any good either.
None of them come out of this with any credit. Just scrap having a mayor altogether. I'd like to see most of the councillors removed as the town is a mess. Towing party lines and petty squabbling is not doing the town any good either. Davey Gravey

11:59am Sat 21 Dec 13

JJR_06/63 says...

The problem here is that Labour have not succeeded in removing the mayor, have lost their motion and also appear to not understand the very basics of how such votes work in practice. A foolish and needless mistake and one that will almost certainly serve to invigorate the mayor. A sad day for Swindon and one that should never have happened.
The problem here is that Labour have not succeeded in removing the mayor, have lost their motion and also appear to not understand the very basics of how such votes work in practice. A foolish and needless mistake and one that will almost certainly serve to invigorate the mayor. A sad day for Swindon and one that should never have happened. JJR_06/63

12:45pm Sat 21 Dec 13

Empty Car Park says...

JJR_06/63 wrote:
The problem here is that Labour have not succeeded in removing the mayor, have lost their motion and also appear to not understand the very basics of how such votes work in practice. A foolish and needless mistake and one that will almost certainly serve to invigorate the mayor. A sad day for Swindon and one that should never have happened.
A new login for Mr "I only use 1 login" Ringer.

Still, I suppose it makes a change from using one from Talk Swindon
[quote][p][bold]JJR_06/63[/bold] wrote: The problem here is that Labour have not succeeded in removing the mayor, have lost their motion and also appear to not understand the very basics of how such votes work in practice. A foolish and needless mistake and one that will almost certainly serve to invigorate the mayor. A sad day for Swindon and one that should never have happened.[/p][/quote]A new login for Mr "I only use 1 login" Ringer. Still, I suppose it makes a change from using one from Talk Swindon Empty Car Park

1:50pm Sat 21 Dec 13

Ringer says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
JJR_06/63 wrote:
The problem here is that Labour have not succeeded in removing the mayor, have lost their motion and also appear to not understand the very basics of how such votes work in practice. A foolish and needless mistake and one that will almost certainly serve to invigorate the mayor. A sad day for Swindon and one that should never have happened.
A new login for Mr "I only use 1 login" Ringer.

Still, I suppose it makes a change from using one from Talk Swindon
You really are quite insane. We know you use numerous logins here, and have added several very recently, but I do not. I have told you this many times, it's not my fault if you're too dim, or demented, to understand it.
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JJR_06/63[/bold] wrote: The problem here is that Labour have not succeeded in removing the mayor, have lost their motion and also appear to not understand the very basics of how such votes work in practice. A foolish and needless mistake and one that will almost certainly serve to invigorate the mayor. A sad day for Swindon and one that should never have happened.[/p][/quote]A new login for Mr "I only use 1 login" Ringer. Still, I suppose it makes a change from using one from Talk Swindon[/p][/quote]You really are quite insane. We know you use numerous logins here, and have added several very recently, but I do not. I have told you this many times, it's not my fault if you're too dim, or demented, to understand it. Ringer

3:45pm Sat 21 Dec 13

trolley dolley says...

Councillor Grant has to get his head round what it means to be in a democracy.
1. Accepting the will of the MAJORITY
2. INNOCENT until proved guilty
3. Cannot be tried for the same offence twice

If he finds it difficult to apply these things to his thinking, then he should resign and make way for someone who can.

It is obvious to the electorate that the Labour group are not interested in justice, but in trying to score political points.

He is reported as saying " that because of the damage of the allegations, Coun. Martin should be removed to preserve the integrity of the title".

In other words if allegations are made that is enough to remove anyone from office, no proof required just an allegation.

This is not the way we ENGLISH do things.

Councillor Martin has been supported by a majority vote of his Peers (27 / 25), he is entitled to carry on with his role of Mayor.

THAT IS HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS MR GRANT.
Councillor Grant has to get his head round what it means to be in a democracy. 1. Accepting the will of the MAJORITY 2. INNOCENT until proved guilty 3. Cannot be tried for the same offence twice If he finds it difficult to apply these things to his thinking, then he should resign and make way for someone who can. It is obvious to the electorate that the Labour group are not interested in justice, but in trying to score political points. He is reported as saying " that because of the damage of the allegations, Coun. Martin should be removed to preserve the integrity of the title". In other words if allegations are made that is enough to remove anyone from office, no proof required just an allegation. This is not the way we ENGLISH do things. Councillor Martin has been supported by a majority vote of his Peers (27 / 25), he is entitled to carry on with his role of Mayor. THAT IS HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS MR GRANT. trolley dolley

6:56pm Sat 21 Dec 13

RichardR1 says...

Trolley the double jeopardy rule was removed a few years ago, so someone can be tried twice. Also as I said Martin had been censured prior to his accepting the Mayors job for being 'too familiar' with a female colleague. As for democracy, well of course the largest single party will always win, that is the Tories.
Trolley the double jeopardy rule was removed a few years ago, so someone can be tried twice. Also as I said Martin had been censured prior to his accepting the Mayors job for being 'too familiar' with a female colleague. As for democracy, well of course the largest single party will always win, that is the Tories. RichardR1

12:42pm Sun 22 Dec 13

MrAngry says...

The mayor made an inappropriate comment which reflects badly on him as an individual. Having voted in support of the mayor, the council have effectively condoned his actions. This sends out a message that this council does not take disabled people seriously. The council has brought shame on itself and our town. They are an absolute disgrace. I used to have respect for Stan Pajak, but no more.
The mayor made an inappropriate comment which reflects badly on him as an individual. Having voted in support of the mayor, the council have effectively condoned his actions. This sends out a message that this council does not take disabled people seriously. The council has brought shame on itself and our town. They are an absolute disgrace. I used to have respect for Stan Pajak, but no more. MrAngry

4:39pm Sun 22 Dec 13

trolley dolley says...

MrAngry, I do not support your remark "that this council does not take disabled people seriously". The amount of work by the council that is put into supporting local people with disabilities is reported on a regular basis in this newspaper. It is continuous and on going.

The inappropriate comment that you refer to is an allegation that is not yet proven. The time to comment on this is after the Standards Board have subjected it to examination and they have declared their findings.

Until then it is an allegation only.

There is no shame in waiting for the findings to be announced, it is ridiculous to say that "The council has brought shame on itself and our town".
MrAngry, I do not support your remark "that this council does not take disabled people seriously". The amount of work by the council that is put into supporting local people with disabilities is reported on a regular basis in this newspaper. It is continuous and on going. The inappropriate comment that you refer to is an allegation that is not yet proven. The time to comment on this is after the Standards Board have subjected it to examination and they have declared their findings. Until then it is an allegation only. There is no shame in waiting for the findings to be announced, it is ridiculous to say that "The council has brought shame on itself and our town". trolley dolley

4:56pm Sun 22 Dec 13

Empty Car Park says...

Has everybody guessed it yet ;-)
Has everybody guessed it yet ;-) Empty Car Park

6:11pm Sun 22 Dec 13

MrAngry says...

Trolley dolly, Stan Pajak was at the meeting and heard the comment and yet he still voted in the support of the mayor. Does he trust the opinion of Standards Board above his own ears? If so, he is not fit for office either.
Trolley dolly, Stan Pajak was at the meeting and heard the comment and yet he still voted in the support of the mayor. Does he trust the opinion of Standards Board above his own ears? If so, he is not fit for office either. MrAngry

6:47am Mon 23 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

Who cares, they are all as useless as each other. Move on, nothing to see here.
Who cares, they are all as useless as each other. Move on, nothing to see here. house on the hill

8:47am Mon 23 Dec 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Due process should be allowed and then a vote of no confidence should be held. People in public life should not be allowed the opportunity to resign/retire gracefully for misconduct and inappropriate behaviour.
Due process should be allowed and then a vote of no confidence should be held. People in public life should not be allowed the opportunity to resign/retire gracefully for misconduct and inappropriate behaviour. LordAshOfTheBrake

9:35am Mon 23 Dec 13

Davey Gravey says...

The adver have cocked up yet again above with the poll scores. It was the other way around with more people against than for the mayor.
They can't even spell cannabis and balls up more and more frequently lately.
Standards have gone downhill dramatically in recent times not only with glaring errors but also with the tabloid-daily mail approach to nothing stories.
The adver have cocked up yet again above with the poll scores. It was the other way around with more people against than for the mayor. They can't even spell cannabis and balls up more and more frequently lately. Standards have gone downhill dramatically in recent times not only with glaring errors but also with the tabloid-daily mail approach to nothing stories. Davey Gravey

10:01am Mon 23 Dec 13

Empty Car Park says...

The results displayed on my pc seemed to show the results frozen at the point I'd voted.

Even if the votes had (somehow) come out in the mayors favour, the title "Readers Stand Up For Troubled Mayor" is still incorrect as only one reader defended the mayor in the comments.

As that person is also director of an IT data company I also have other assumptions
The results displayed on my pc seemed to show the results frozen at the point I'd voted. Even if the votes had (somehow) come out in the mayors favour, the title "Readers Stand Up For Troubled Mayor" is still incorrect as only one reader defended the mayor in the comments. As that person is also director of an IT data company I also have other assumptions Empty Car Park

7:26pm Fri 10 Jan 14

sn5 says...

The real shame is Labour making the mayoral role political and completely ignoring the standards process. They tried a political stunt and failed

Well done Jim Grant, carry on the good work of keeping the Conservatives in power, although heard a rumour that Bob Wright is planning a coup
The real shame is Labour making the mayoral role political and completely ignoring the standards process. They tried a political stunt and failed Well done Jim Grant, carry on the good work of keeping the Conservatives in power, although heard a rumour that Bob Wright is planning a coup sn5

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree