Waveney District Council's "Ashes" Democracy

Colin Law, new Tory Leader
of Waveney District Council
In the famous Ashes cricket test match series played between England and Australia if there is a draw in the series than the existing "holder" of the Ashes retains them and "wins" the Ashes. This, more or less, is what happened at Waveney District Council last night.

As I reported earlier the 5th May elections and the (with retrospect) unfortunate decision to have an even number - 48 - of council seats left an awkward situation in Waveney with the Conservatives and Labour tied on 23 seats each with 2 other seats, one Green and one "independent".

The Green decided to support Labour and the Independent turned out to be what is sometimes known locally as a "Condependant" ie really a Conservative but stands under an independent label.

Peter Collecott new
Waveney Chairman
The end result was that there was another tie this time at 24/24 so lawyers were called in to decide how to break the tie and the outgoing Chairman of the Council a Conservative called Alan Duce was allowed to chair the meeting last night even though he isn't even a councillor any longer. He didn't get an original vote but he did use his casting vote to appoint Peter Colecott (the Condependant) as Chairman of the Council.

What then followed was casting vote central with the Vice-Chairman, Leader and Deputy Leader all elected on Colecott's casting vote and all going to Conservatives.

So Suffolk County Council Cabinet member Colin Law is now leader of the Council effectively because the Conservatives previously ran the council on the "Ashes" principal. However this was an election not a cricket match and the popular vote tells a different story with Labour and the Greens getting 38252 votes Tory and Independent 31375 votes. Colin Law claimed during the meeting that his party "still had a clear mandate from the electorate and he would focus on what was best for the people of Waveney" but it seems unclear where that mandate comes from.
Waveney District Council 5789865580765512930

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