Scarborough Council leader Steve Siddons set to face third vote of no confidence as councillor says she 'wants to feel safe'

The leader of Scarborough Council is set to face a third vote of no confidence, nearly 12 months after he survived the latest attempt to remove him as head of the authority.

By George Buksmann
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 11:49 am

Five cross-party councillors have signed the motion against Cllr Steve Siddons, the Labour leader of Scarborough Council, raising concerns of a "toxic" workplace environment and a lack of transparency.

It will be the third motion of no confidence faced by Cllr Siddons and his cabinet, following a failed challenge in January 2021 which the leader won by 25 votes to 20.

A date has yet to be scheduled to hold a debate and vote, but an extraordinary meeting has been requested ahead of the next full council meeting on January 24.

Councillors have raised safeguarding and transparency concerns in the authority's leadership. Inset, Cllr Roxanne Murphy.

The motion has been brought by the borough’s Deputy Mayor and Yorkshire Coast Independents Alliance (YCIA) member Cllr Roxanne Murphy.

The motion is also backed by Cllr Sam Cross, leader of the YCIA, and fellow group member Cllr Neil Heritage; Cllr Bill Chatt, part of the Cluster of Independent Members; and Conservative Cllr Alf Abbott.

Speaking to The Scarborough News, Cllr Murphy said: "We have to start listening to the public, and start putting the people that put us in those seats first, not having an attitude that ‘we all know best’. We have to start listening to each other and concerns, and there is none of that."

Cllr Murphy said she can no longer "sit and listen and see this anymore" and that a level of "toxicity" had emerged at the authority, following an exchange of insults between councillors in recent meetings.

Scarborough Council leader Cllr Steve Siddons faces his third 'no confidence' vote.

Councillors have also raised safeguarding concerns in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder and the fatal stabbing of the MP Sir David Amess.

"As a woman, and mum with a young child, I want to feel safe. I don't want to feel threatened. I don't want to feel that there's a level of anxiety when you go into meetings," she said.

The 13-strong Labour Group has been running the 46-member council with the support of the Independent Group councillors since May 2019.

A majority of councillors present will be needed to vote to remove the leader and his administration.

Convention dictates that a leader who loses a no-confidence motion resigns immediately and a vote for a new leader takes place.

A spokesperson for Scarborough Council said: "Any agenda item accepted for debate at full council, which includes motions that may be proposed by councillors, are always formally published on our website.

"No full council agendas have yet been published for 2022."