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Portland councillor Tim Munro survives bid to oust him as nominee for mayor
A COUNCILLOR narrowly avoided an attempt to remove him as the nominee for Portland Town Mayor.
A motion was put forward at a Portland Town Council meeting to ‘review the decision’ to nominate Cllr Tim Munro for mayor in 2014/15.
It was backed by councillors Sandra Reynolds, Ray Nowak, Andy Matthews and current mayor Les Ames, who decided to act following a ‘public outcry’ about the single nomination.
It read: “In the light of the council decision to nominate Cllr Tim Munro to be mayor in 2014/15 and the following public outcry we wish to review this decision and thereby move that the decision be rescinded under Standing Order 36.”
Six councillors, including Richard Denton-White, Elspie Munro-Price, Ian Munro-Price, Amanda Munro, Rodney Wild and Tim Munro himself, voted against the motion.
While the five remaining present members – including Les Ames, Ray Nowak, Sylvia Bradley, Sandra Reynolds, Andy Matthews, voted to pass it.
The five-six vote means the motion was not passed and Cllr Munro will remain as the nominated town mayor.
At a previous town council meeting, Cllr Tim Munro was nominated with no contest for the role, with Rob Hughes becoming the official nominee for deputy over Richard Denton-White.
Seven councillors voted for him to be nominated for mayor, three against and two abstained.
Residents voiced criticisms against Cllr Munro filling the role after he ‘led the way’ with the proposed council tax precept increase.
The increase was scrapped last month following a backlash and a rise of 1.99 per cent was accepted.
At Thursday night’s meeting, Cllr Reynolds told the council that Cllr Munro was only nominated because ‘there was no other alternative’.
She said: “It was a decision made because no one else wanted to do it.”
Cllr Munro responded: “I was elected in the council chamber. It was a democratic decision.”
Cllr Richard Denton-White said he voted against the motion ‘purely out of principle’.
He told the council: “The problem is that if we pass this we will be left with a vacuum of no mayor or no chairman.”
He said to do so would be ‘caving into popularism’ and that it was ‘not about Tim Munro being popular or not’.
Mayor Les Ames replied: “You must listen to the people who elected you.”
Cllr Elspie Munro-Price asked members: “Where are these people who don’t want Cllr Munro to be mayor?”
She said he would be ‘hardworking’, would have ‘the island’s best interests at heart’ and added that he had been a good mayor previously.
She added: “He made one mistake.”
Existing policy guidelines state that the nomination for town mayor is carried out from a seniority list .
Town clerk Ian Looker said if the motion had been passed the process of selection would have started again.
Cllr Andy Matthews told the council he stood by his idea of a council chairman rather than that of a mayor.
Member of the public Paul Snow told councillors during the public participation section: “There is a prejudicial and personal interest at this council between family members and family ties.
“At least four declarations of interest should have been made at the start.”
Speaking after the meeting Tim Munro said: “The vote was similar to the one previously held.
“There are some challenges ahead.”
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