IN their letter to Chief Solicitor Peter Devlin, Councillors Brash, Thompson, Lilley, Dawkins and Riddle say the purpose of the extraordinary meeting would be: “To discuss, and make recommendations in response to the reputational damage being done to Hartlepool Borough Council by the dismissal of the Mayor of Hartlepool from his employment at Newcastle Council and the ongoing legal action being taken by him against said council, which is one of HBC’s regional strategic partners.”
The proposal ends with four options depending on the outcome of Coun Akers-Belcher’s appeal.
- The Mayor is advised to take a leave of absence from all civic duties, until such time as his legal dispute with Newcastle City Council is resolved.
- In the interim the Deputy should assume all civic responsibilities of the Mayoral office and all allowances to the Mayor frozen.
- Should his dismissal for ‘gross misconduct’ be overturned the Mayor should return to his role immediately with council’s full support.
- If the dismissal is upheld then Council resolves to hold a vote of no-confidence in the Mayor.
The councillors also suggested that the following motion be put forward should any meeting be arranged: “That this council believes the dismissal for ‘gross misconduct’ of the Mayor by Newcastle Council, in conjunction with his stated aim of legal action against that council, has undermined confidence in him as the first citizen of the town and that this ongoing and very public situation is causing significant reputational damage to the council as well and undermining our relationship with a key strategic, regional partner.”