“A vote of no confidence in the Mayor of Cheshire East is set to be held next week, after appearing in the viral Handforth Parish Council video clip, writes Ethan Davies.”
“Mayor Cllr Barry Burkhill, who represents Handforth as an Independent, also sits on the parish council and can be seen in the longer version of the video, asking “‘where the chairman [Cllr Brian Tolver] has gone” after being placed in the Zoom’s waiting room by Jackie Weaver.”
“Now, Conservative Cllr Liz Wardlaw has submitted a notice of motion to full council, after calling for Cllr Burkhill to “consider his position” yesterday (February 9).
The motion says: “The recent national coverage of the Handforth Parish Council meeting and our Mayors’ participation in that meeting has led us to believe he has brought this council and his role within this Council into disrepute.
“He made no attempt to intervene as it became clear participants in that meeting were being bullied.
“The work that has been done at Cheshire East over the last three years with the cooperation and commitment of all members and officers to transform its culture and reputation from one of bullying and intimidation has been undermined by this sad episode.
“The inaction of the Mayor could be seen as a demonstration of his complicity in the bullying that occurred, and this cannot be ignored if the integrity of the Brighter Futures Programme is to be maintained.
“In light of the above [we propose] this Council resolves that it has no confidence in the Mayor and that his term of office as Mayor and Chairman of the Council will cease immediately.”
The motion has been seconded by Cllr Jos Saunders.
Reacting to yesterday’s calls from Cllr Wardlaw for Cllr Burkhill to “consider his position”, the leader of Cllr Burkhill’s independent group, Cllr Craig Browne, who is also deputy leader of CEC, said: “The council has a investigatory and disciplinary process which is currently in train and it is inappropriate [to comment] on any individuals’ behaviour until that process has been completed.
“That process is undertaken by an independent panel without councillors and saying anything could be prejudicial to getting a fair hearing.”
Cllr Barry Burkhill has been contacted for comment.”