The Grant Thornton report issued in June 2016 referred to the “fractious” political culture within the Council, and within the Chamber. The opposition group leaders would attribute the start of this to be when Cllr Banwait became Leader 2 years ago. When challenged, Cllr Banwait seems to accept no accountability, either as an individual or as Leader of the Council. Whilst Council meetings will necessarily involve political “banter” ( which everyone accepts) there is a line to be drawn when it turns to personal abuse.
The Council Meeting of the 18th May 2016 exhibited just why trust between Council members continues to deteriorate when Cllr Banwait verbally abused Cllr Graves following a suggestion he made for a modest cost saving in the Council.
The situation was made worse when the newly appointed Mayor failed to reprimand Banwait and used a procedural technicality to avoid responding to a point of order. From an objective observer, the right action would have been to have asked Cllr Banwait to apologise – simply common sense, and courtesy. The short video shows the relevant sequence ( I have editted out the speech from Cllr Care which was not pertinent to this issue – please watch right to the end)
The “despicable” action that Banwait refers to was Graves’ contribution to the motion, earlier in the day, to ‘thank’ Cllr Pegg for his year as Mayor of Derby. Graves referred to the “culture of bully boy tactics” that had grown in the Council which he attributed to the ruling Labour Group. He went on to state that “in the last municipal year the Council has experienced the worst chairman in its history”. His view was that “Cllr Pegg has been anything but impartial”….and on that basis wanted the words “impartiality” removed from the motion. This was voted down.
It is worth remembering that Cllr Pegg has been found guilty by the Council’s Director of Governance of abusing a member of the public in the chamber, lying to his constituents, and misusing the Mayoral office.
To refer to anyone as a “disgusting, despicable individual” is unacceptable and when it comes from the Leader of the Council in a public meeting then we know that something has become very rotten in the way that local politics is being led and conducted in Derby.
To quote Cllr Banwait – “it’s about time the people of Derby saw exactly what you are about”. Yes, Cllr Banwait – the people of Derby should know what you are like, and about.This is not the man who should be Leading Derby.
The reason for the delay in posting this video clip was due to the Council taking 3 months to upload it onto Youtube.
Categories: Derby City Council