Ben Bradley says no-confidence motion is attempt to 'rub his nose' in mayoral election defeat

Ben Bradley was beaten by Claire Ward and now faces another challenge -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post
Ben Bradley was beaten by Claire Ward and now faces another challenge -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has said a vote urging him to resign is intended to “rub his nose” in his mayoral election defeat. Councillor Ben Bradley (Con) lost the East Midlands Mayoral election to Claire Ward (Lab) last week.

The county council ’s Independent Alliance has since introduced a vote of no confidence calling on him to step down as leader, which will be held after next Thursday’s full council meeting (May 16). The motion has been introduced by Independent group leader Councillor Jason Zadrozny and four members and claims the council has neglected its duties.

However, the vote will fail unless several Conservative members join with opposition groups in supporting it. The motion reads: “This council has no confidence in the leadership of Nottinghamshire County Council.

“Over the past few years, the Conservative administration who run this Council have had one aim and objective; that being to get the current leader of this Council elected as the Mayor of the East Midlands’ Combined Authority at the expense of providing a good level of service across all departments of this Council.

“We therefore call for the immediate resignation of Councillor Ben Bradley as leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.” Cllr Bradley had intended to step down as county leader if he won the election but says he will now continue in the job.

“This motion has nothing to do with confidence in my leadership. It is all about the Independents seeking to rub my nose in last week’s election result," he said.

“We have a very clear constitution within the council that says the leader of the largest group is the leader of the council. On Wednesday, the Conservative group will reconfirm this. By the time we get to the AGM, this question will have been asked and answered.

Cllr Zadrozny [leader of the Independent Alliance] knows the rules, but as usual is wasting everyone’s time. He’s just seeking to kick a man while he’s down.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing but I have no intention of playing his daft games. I’m just cracking on doing my job.”

On Tuesday, Cllr Keith Girling (Con), the council’s cabinet member for economic development, said Cllr Bradley had the Conservative group’s full support.

Cllr Zadrozny said: “Ask anybody if they are satisfied with the performance of Nottinghamshire County Council and they’ll give you the same answer – no. Whether it’s the diabolical state of our broken roads and pavements, serious shortcomings in our education service or plans to close our tips, that is down to Ben Bradley.

“For the last few years, he has been too focused on winning an election campaign that he spectacularly didn’t. It’s time to bin Bradley and force the county council to start doing the basics right.”

The Conservative group controls 35 of the 66 seats on Nottinghamshire County Council, giving them a majority. The Independents and Labour groups each control 15 seats, with one unaligned member.

If all opposition members voted with the motion, three Tories would have to rebel for it to succeed.