Saturday, 16 December 2017

Musical Chairs on Rochdale Council

COUNCILLOR Allen Brett, Coun Farnell’s deputy, got the job as leader of Rochdale Council, after he was nominated by Councillor Sara Rowbotham and seconded by Councillor Neil Emmott,  The motion for Allen Brett to become Coucil leader was also supported by Councillor Ashley Dearnley and a number of Conservaties.
For some this feels like Musical Chairs on Rochdale, and already two cabinet members have resigned as a consequence of the appointment of Councillor Brett.
Jacqueline Beswick and Peter Williams.
In his resignation email, passed to the Manchester Evening News, Coun Williams praised Councillor Beswick as an ‘excellent and very experienced candidate’ and said the rejection of a female leader was an ‘important matter given Rochdale’s history’.
But he said the main reason for his resignation was Coun Farnell’s evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), writing: “For a leader to not be able to recollect so many specific questions about his knowledge of events at the time was a disgrace. So I cannot serve alongside the apparent successors. Yesterday was a sad day with no change, or acknowledgement on this issue.”
Speaking to the M.E.N. he added: “Richard Farnell’s deputy becoming leader means there is broadly no change in the regime so I am not prepared to continue.”
Coun Donna Martin also stood down from her role as deputy leader the day after Coun Farnell’s resignation.
It’s the second time Coun Brett has served as leader of Rochdale council, following a short spell in charge in 2005.
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