Third vote of no confidence in Scarborough Council leader Steve Siddons to be held next week

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
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 3:27 pm

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 and inclusivity.

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 meeting of the full council will take place on Monday January 17 where a debate and vote will be held.

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.

When contacted by The Scarborough News, the council leader, Cllr Steve Siddons, declined to make a statement ahead of the meeting next week.

Cllr Siddons first faced a contest over his leadership just seven months into the job when a no confidence vote was held in January 2020, which he won by 26 votes to 16. This will be the leadership's third vote in as many years.