‘I will be vindicated!’ Ousted city leader breaks silence – as Labour slams ‘council chaos’

City of York Council's West Offices. Photograph: YorkMix
31 Jan 2018 @ 2.48 pm
| News, Politics

David Carr has broken his silence after the Conservative coup that will see him ejected from power.

The outgoing City of York Council leader defended his record and said he will be proved right in time.

In his statement he says:

I stand by every decision I have made as leader of the council and chair of the executive and I believe those decisions will be vindicated in due course.

I have the support of a substantial number of the Conservative Group, my conscience is clear and, most importantly, my integrity remains intact.

Cllr Carr was voted out as Conservative Group leader and replaced by Cllr Ian Gillies.

Ian Gillies is due to take over as York council leader at the full council budget meeting on February 22.

Cllr Carr added: “I wish my successor, Cllr Ian Gillies, well in his position as leader of the Conservative Group.”

‘Real concerns’

Ian Gillies becomes Lord Mayor of York in 2014. Photograph: City of York Council

The opposition Labour group on City of York Council have condemned the in-fighting which has beset the Tory-Lib Dem ruling coalition.

Cllr Carr was ousted after sacking his education portfolio holder.

Before that he had faced criticism for dismissing two Lib Dem members of the executive, Keith Aspden and Nigel Ayre, over allegations which have still not been revealed or resolved.

“The chaotic situation at the top of the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition continues, with real concerns for stable and effective governance of the city given the constant changes in membership of the council’s executive,” said Labour Group leader Janet Looker.

“We now have a leader in waiting who doesn’t agree with the Local Plan his administration has just approved.

“Conservatives and Liberal Democrats appear to remain committed to submitting a development plan for York which provides insufficient affordable homes and which will not pass formal inspection.”


Labour Group leader Janet Looker

The Labour leader said the Tories and Lib Dems “also appear unable to agree a budget”.

Cllr Looker added:

This administration is more concerned with in-fighting, within and between the two parties than providing the stable governance and strong leadership this city needs.

The focus should be on York’s economy, providing the homes York people need and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in the city.

Instead, the two groups are more focused on personal battles and ambitions which in no way serve the public interest.

‘Gillies not leader’

Lib Dem Interim deputy leader, Lib Dem Cllr Andrew Waller

Meanwhile, the Conservatives’ partners in the coalition have said that Cllr Gillies is not leader yet.

“It is important to reiterate, Cllr Gillies is not the leader of the council and this is subject to a vote at full council,” said the Liberal Democrat Group in a statement.

The Lib Dems also said:

Despite the recent uncertainty generated by the Conservative Group in-fighting and vote of no confidence in Cllr Carr, York’s Liberal Democrat councillors will continue to act in the best interests of the city.

By doing so, we will work hard to ensure that frontline services are run to the highest standard, major projects are progressed in a timely manner, and that communities are represented at the council.

Over the coming weeks, we will discuss with the Conservative group the future membership of the council’s ruling executive and the upcoming programme of key projects on the council agenda.