Wrexham Council’s Chief Executive has effectively told Councillors to get on with the job after yesterday’s resignations ended with the cancellation of this month’s Executive Board meeting.
Yesterday ten Councillors resigned from the Labour Party, throwing the political make up of the Council into uncertainty. The exact reasons for the resignations are officially unclear, with several further rumours to reasonings doing the rounds.
One rumour doing the political rounds is in connection to the visit of Labour AM and former Whip Carl Sargent to town yesterday morning. One source said that they believed a message was conveyed from the Labour HQ in South Wales to local Councillors requesting that recently sacked Councillor Malcolm King be reinstated to his Lead Member role.
It has been an open secret locally that there has been ‘ongoing disagreements’ over various issues inside the local Labour grouping, including ones relating to Plas Madoc funding. However it is believed yesterday’s decision was not solely due to that, rather several matters coming to a head at a meeting of the group earlier this week.
This morning we asked the current Council Leader Neil Rogers about the visit of Carl Sargent, and he told us he was ‘not party to any meeting’ and believed Mr Sargent was in town regarding planning.
Yesterday morning Wrexham.com attended a media brief regarding the forthcoming ‘cuts’ consultation, and we understand no resignations had taken place nor were planned at that point, with discussions and actions taking place in the following four hours.
Wrexham Council’s Chief Executive, Dr Helen Paterson, has today issued the below statement to staff of Wrexham Council, explaining that despite political allegiance changes the Councillors themselves still remain in post.
The statement highlights that all roles are active within the Council structure until otherwise changed via a Full Council meeting, therefore raising the question to why the Executive Board meeting has been cancelled.
Dr Paterson said: “Many of you will have seen the local and national media and will know that ten Members of the Wrexham Labour Group have resigned from the Group and the Labour Party.
“They continue as elected Councillors representing the public in their Wards. Constitutionally the Leader of the Council, Deputy Leader and Executive Board Members elected at the Annual Meeting in May remain in their roles and active within them unless a full meeting of the Council determines otherwise.
“The next scheduled Full Council meeting is on September 24th. The Lead Member roles on the Executive Board are appointed by the Leader of the Council and so these remain unless altered by the Leader.
“In times of political uncertainty it is important that all staff remember that we serve the whole Council and the people of Wrexham. We therefore continue to remain strongly focused on the delivery of our Council Plan priorities. The outcomes of the plan, enabling us to support the people of Wrexham through the services we deliver, remain paramount to us.
“Day to day business continues as usual with us focusing on our customers and doing our best for them.”
Currently the Executive Board meeting planned for next week has been cancelled due to yesterdays resignations, and Wrexham.com has various queries lodged in relation to this – we will update further if and when replies are given.