Ben Bradley survives vote of no confidence in county council leadership

Cllr Ben Bradley (Con) left the chamber during the vote of no confidence
By Jamie Waller, Local Democracy Reporter

Nottinghamshire’s Conservative County Council leader Ben Bradley has survived a vote of no confidence.

The Conservative group walked out in protest at the motion, which accused him of failing residents.

The Independent Alliance claimed that Cllr Bradley had been too focused on the East Midlands mayoral election, which he lost to Labour candidate Claire Ward, and not enough council services.

An extraordinary council meeting was called on Thursday (May 16) to vote on the motion.

Cllr Bradley said it was a “waste of all our times” and he was going back to his office rather than listen to it.

Conservative members then rose and left the council chamber in protest during the debate, only returning for the vote.

The vote was a symbolic motion to put pressure on the council leader, and wouldn’t have removed him from the role.

Cllr Bradley was unanimously reconfirmed as leader of the Conservative group in a meeting on Wednesday.

Independent leader Councillor Jason Zadrozny said: “Cllr Bradley claimed he would stand down if he won the election. Now he’s lost, he’s returned cap in hand, expecting to do a job he hasn’t been doing for the last three years.

“He’s used the chamber for his own ends – surely residents expect better.”

He claimed that Cllr Bradley serving as both council leader and MP for Mansfield was a “failed experiment”, adding: “He’s let down both the people of his constituency and the whole of Nottinghamshire.”

Cllr Bradley responded: “With all the national turbulence, this council has been a port in a storm, and I have a record I’m incredibly proud of.

“This vote is a waste of all of our times. The Independents are going through the motion of personal attacks.

“It’s irrelevant, as the leadership of the council has already been decided.”

He pointed to investment in expanded special needs schools, lower-than-average council tax rises and investment in bus services as evidence of his leadership.

The Labour group dismissed the vote as “yet another publicity stunt” from the Independents, and abstained from the vote.

Leader Kate Foale said: “We’ve seen how replacing one Conservative with another in Westminster didn’t fix anything.”

It was defeated 34 votes to 13, with 13 abstentions.

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