Control of Walsall Council to be decided on August 11th

As you maybe aware there was a by-election two weeks where Labour retains the seat of Birchills-Leamore, this leaves the council composition as

Labour 30

Conservative 21

Lib Dem 3


Independent 3

At the Council AGM after the May elections the Conservative/LD parties retained control of the council by 29/29 – Pete Smith abstained and the vacancy in Birchills meant a tie. In this situation Labour could not win a motion to take control.

As the Birmingham Press report HERE Walsall Labour Party called a meeting for the 20th August to decide control once again as the numbers have changed and if Pete Smith as Mayor (and casting vote) once again abstained then Labour gain control of the council 30-29.

However Pete Smith in his wisdom and the powers he has brought froward the meeting to the 11th. It seems no consultation with either Labour who called the meeting or any other party.

As regular readers of this blog know, I have a political position and would like us to gain control of the council and I do wonder at Pete Smith’s motivations here. Has he heard for example that some Labour councillors are on holiday and can not make the meeting ? This would mean of course he can still abstain and allow the same control of the council.

There is long history between Pete Smith and the Walsall Labour Party (too long to write about here).  The last thing he wants is to vote with the Tories to stop us getting control or abstain which in the current situation would hand Labour control.

So with no explanation from Pete on this we can only wonder at his motivations for such an important decision that affects all residents of Pheasey as the cuts will bite even harder this year.

13 thoughts on “Control of Walsall Council to be decided on August 11th

  1. Hi Ian,
    Peter Smith is not an Independent councillor, he is, as you know full well, a member of the Democratic Labour Party.

  2. Hi Ian (Robathan),
    I hadn’t heard that the Democratic Labour Party had been formally disbanded; when did this occur? – I’ve a feeling that we both mentioned the DLP in conversation last year, so i presume a formal closure of the party took place sometime between last winter and this spring?

  3. Ian Shires ? Who he? .does he represent Pheasey? or is he another absentee council representative for our area?

  4. For your information, the Democratic Labour Party has NOT been disbanded. Where the “tittle tattle” has gone wrong is as follows: The DLP decided to de-register with the Electoral Commission some time back between the 2011 and 2012 local elections. There are justifiable and various reasons for this time now to explain, though we did explain it to the Blakenall electorate in our election leaflets before the 2012 election where the DLP’s candidate Pete Smith was successful.

    However the only effect of this de-registration was that the DLP name or Logo cannot appear on the BALLOT PAPER. Our Party still exists and up to the last local election date, our leaflets made it clear that its candidate was the candidate of the DLP. Our leaflets have reflected the actions, views and principles of the DLP…just that its name and logo can no longer be put on ballot paper .

    Our intervention in the local elections is vindicated when we hear that Labour is as committed as the Conservatives to implementing a further £100m of cuts over the next 4 years. Why Labour is scrabbling to take control so that they are the ones who make the cuts, seems incredible in just months before a General Election…. I bet David Winnick and Valerie Vaz will not thank the local Labour Group for fighting for possession of the AXE to local Council services just weeks before a General Election! There again, the leaders of the Council do now get very generous Special responsibility allowances thanks to Labour’s abstention when these allowances were raised despite opposition from Democratic Labour, Independent and Liberal Democrat Councillors. Maybe that is the attraction.

    Cllr. Pete Smith
    Member of the Democratic Labour Party.

  5. With regard to the mischievousand untrue innuendo that I called the Special Meeting of the Council or the 11th August knowing that some Labour Councillors would be on holiday, let me put the record stright..Following a request from 5 Labour Councillors for a special Council meeting with just 2 items on the agenda, I gave it due consideration. This request had also been circulated to all Councillors. The request also stated their preference for the meeting to be called on 20th August, though the rules do not allow the callers of the meeting to determine the exact date unless the Mayor either refuses or neglects such a request. for a special meeting.

    I I soon received letters of complaint from both the Lib Dem Group and the Conservative Group at the suggested date of 20th August for an extra ordinary meeting (a date for which neither myself as Mayor or the Deputy Mayor was available. I also had verbal complaints about the date of 20th August, from the 2 Independent Councillors.

    Added to this, the evening of Wednesday 20th August preceded the by-election for the West Midlands Police Commissioner ( 21st August) which may well have occupied the time of some Councillors in support of their Party candidate on the eve of the election.

    All this together with the view that the political uncertainty should be addressed as soon as possible due to the budget process, already underway, suggested that a meeting other than the 20th August should be sooner rather than later.

    Then finally, it had to be taken into consideration by the Mayor that one of the items on the extra ordinary Meeting request was the future of the 2 proposed new Leisure Centres and the advice was that this item had to be determined no later than the end of August, otherwise the whole project would be back to the drawing board.

    I did not consult with any of the Groups, though it just so happened that 2 Groups and 2 individual Independents expressed their views to me that the 20th August was not suitable. No other Groups made any contact with the Mayor on this issue, beyond the letter by the 5 requesting the meeting.

    I used my powers under the Council’s Constitution to heed the request of the 5 Members for an extra-ordinary meeting and also to determine the date of such a meeting, ensuring that any date chosen could not be construed as the Mayor either failing, neglecting or acting unreasonable in any way towards the request.

    It would have been unfair of me to have knowingly gone along with a date that suited just one partisan section of the Council, especially given that one of the items on the agenda could not have been more important, namely the issue of control of the Council.

    I would have been rightly criticised had I have aided and abetted a plan to call a meeting just to suit one particular political group. As I belong to none of these Groups, I can act and have acted impartially.

    With hindsight it may turn out to have shown political folly and ineptitude to call a meeting in the middle of the holiday season in order to change the Council’s leadership. Whilst there was a case for such a special meeting to determine the future of the Leisure Centre project in August, the issue of leadership of the Council might have been best left for the scheduled September 22nd meeting of Walsall Council.

    If the issues on the agenda are so important that an extra-ordinary meeting is deemed necessary, then it behoves all Members, especially those who called it, to ensure that there is the maximum possible turnout of ALL Councillors, from across the political spectrum, not an easy task on any day during the month of August!

    Cllr. Pete Smith.

  6. Hi Pete,
    Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions raised above in regard of the Special Meeting of Walsall Borough Councillors set for tomorrow; and for clarifying the current position of the Democratic Labour Party and it’s members.
    No wonder i hadn’t heard about any formal dissolution of the DLP, it didn’t/hasn’t happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Hi All. Things must be desperate in Walsall. For a change for Pheasey, TWO Walsall Councillors (and two that don’t represent the area) actually acknowledge a blog by someone on Pheasey.

    Ian R take credit where its due. How did Peter Smith(Sorry the Mayor of Walsall!!!!!) actually find you when he can’t find it when his DLP candidates stand in the area. Ian shires if this is the Councillor for Willenhall North(ie the former thief dome of the Liberals Democrats soon to be a UKIP stronghold), cant come over and support his Liberal Democrat Candidates in Walsall South!!!!

    are both of them feeling all right and now both actually acknowledge that Pheasey exists in Walsall. May be they might decide to put some money Pheasey’s way instead of letting the area go to wrack and ruin as it is doing under Mr Shires’s colleagues in the cabinet.

    But I actually detect a whiff of panic from Walsall council members who have commented on this item. I believe that its politically motivated. In so far as the current Mayor who has set the date, was supported by Cllr Shires and the rest of the Con/LibDem coalition, in achieving his post as Mayor and is now returning the favour by moving theses dates around.

    This is exactly the same political happenings that bought in central government overseer’s back in the 90’s. I believe that the actions in Walsall are watched by central government as we have been seen as a falling council and this political party politics will only provide more examples that this is a failing council and needs to be broken up between Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the NEW Council of Sutton Coldfield that is in the offing.

    Please stop playing games, get your fingers and get on with what you were supposed to do when you were elected, which is sort your constituent’s problem and running this council for those people. Not for your own ego.

  8. James ,excellent,love the last paragraph,we have absentee council reps who give go ahead for phone masts,St Maggies debacle( on going) ,parking farces ,and much more,if they lived anywhere near, they would maybe actually represent us,because living here would mean they could not run away home and not face their constituents when they make decisions on our behalf. Labour put up a Darlaston person last time,and our parliament rep is from the south.,Politics stinks,look after your friends and companies who pay and then we can all get together to vote for a expenses increase again in council.Sadly Its not just ego James.

    • Not everyone is like that and I do despair at those politicians that give you that impression DJ, they are the minority of anyone I have met.

  9. I see none of the political pepole have replied that’s not a surprise. When confronted with the truth they run and hide especially when there political maneuvering is discovered…. Typical see James post for the truth

  10. Been away for the week (hardly any net, that shocked me ha ha ) and interesting comments I have now read in the light of what happened on Monday, Walsall politics is never dull.

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