Labour Group denies ‘threats’

LABOUR group leaders have denied claims that cabinet members could have been thrown out of the party if they did not support the amended proposals.

Mayor Drummond said: “As I understand it, the Labour cabinet members were put in a position by the Labour group that would result in them being thrown out of the party if they did not support the group stance on the budget.”

But Labour group leader Ged Hall said: “Anything that the Mayor discloses about the Labour gGroup is absolute speculation.

“There were no threats and we were always free to make up our own minds.

“This was a unique opportunity where there was two sets of budget proposals before full council.

“There was an honest difference of opinion and that can only be good for democracy.”

The amended proposals centred around cabinet proposals to privatise the joint ICT, revenues and benefits contract, which Mayor Drummond said would save jobs, create jobs and save almost an eight-figure sum over the length of the seven-year contract.

But the Labour group objected as the contract would need the council to agree a six-figure, up-front cost.

They also said jobs could not be guaranteed and the savings were projected figures.