North Tyneside Council Conservatives claim 'Labour want to mark their own homework'

North Tyneside Council Headquarters at Cobalt Business Park
North Tyneside Council Headquarters at Cobalt Business Park -Credit:ChronicleLive

North Tyneside Council’s Labour administration was accused last night of marking its own homework after rejecting Tory nominations for committee chairs.

Last night, councillors gathered for the first time after the local elections to discuss council business, including the appointment of the chairs to the council’s committees. The leader of the council’s Conservative opposition councillor Liam Bones, put forward Tory colleagues to chair and deputy chair two committees, claiming this would be in line with other neighbouring authorities.

For instance, at Newcastle City Council, scrutiny committee chairs belong to the opposition Liberal Democrats, despite their being a Labour majority. The Conservative proposed a motion nominating Coun John Johnsson as chair of the licensing committee and Coun David Lilly as depth chair of the family-friendly sub-committee. The amendment was voted down by a Labour majority.

The Tories were also voted down on an appointment to the Local Government Association Assembly. LGA guidance encourages one of those posts to be allocated to opposition or minority party leaders, although it is ultimately up to individual council discretion.

Conservative opposition leader Coun Liam Bones said: “It is disappointing but unsurprising that the Labour Party have blocked any opposition councillors from holding them to account through chairing scrutiny committees.

“Labour want to mark their own homework because even though they know they are destroying North Tyneside the thing they fear most is our residents seeing the many ways they waste our money."

A Labour group spokesperson said: “Every councillor in the borough was up for election just two weeks ago, the borough overwhelmingly voted for Labour to run this council and that’s what we will do.

“The last time the Tories were in power in North Tyneside they blocked Labour from holding a single position despite being the largest party."