Friends desert Clancy For­mer coun­cil leader’s suc­ces­sor ac­cuses him of be­ing ‘fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Neil Elkes Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Cor­re­spon­dent

FOR­MER Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil leader John Clancy has been ac­cused by his suc­ces­sor of mak­ing a “fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect” state­ment on the on­go­ing dis­pute with city bin­men.

In­terim coun­cil leader Ian Ward and cab­i­net mem­ber Ste­wart Stacey both pub­licly dis­tanced them­selves from an of­fi­cial an­swer given by Cllr Clancy in the hours be­fore he re­signed on Mon­day.

Cllr Ward (Labour, Shard End) also promised to be as “hon­est, open and trans­par­ent” as pos­si­ble and de­vote him­self and se­nior col­leagues to re­solv­ing the bins dis­pute.

In a re­mark­able coun­cil ques­tion time ses­sion on Tues­day, Cllr Ward and his cab­i­net were bom­barded with ques­tions over the aborted deal struck last month be­tween Cllr Clancy and the bin­men’s union, Unite.

A writ­ten ques­tion by Cllr Zaker Choudhry (Lib Dem, South Yard­ley) had asked Cllr Clancy which cab­i­net mem­bers were in­volved in agree­ing the deal with Unite.

Cllr Clancy replied: “Ev­ery cab­i­net mem­ber was in­volved in reach­ing the agree­ment in prin­ci­ple.”

But Cllr Ward told the cham­ber: “As far as I’m con­cerned that an­swer is fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect.”

His Labour cab­i­net col­league Cllr Stacey agreed, point­ing out he was out of touch on hol­i­day in Spain so could not have agreed.

In fur­ther an­swers it be­came clear that mem­bers of the cab­i­net had not agreed the deal and had urged Cllr Clancy against it.

Cllr Ward said: “I very much re­gret events of re­cent weeks. I re­gret th­ese events mean the pre­vi­ous leader found him­self in an un­ten­able po­si­tion and had to re­sign. He also de­liv­ered in the last two years much that was pos­i­tive and moved the city for­ward.”

Cllr Ward also urged Unite union boss Howard Beck­ett to stop call­ing for the res­ig­na­tion of coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Stella Manzie.

“Let me be crys­tal clear, the con­tin­ual calls for the res­ig­na­tion of the chief ex­ec­u­tive are wholly in­ap­pro­pri­ate,” he said.

“It is also a fact of the mat­ter that con­tin­u­ing to make such calls will make res­o­lu­tion of the dis­pute harder to ob­tain.”

He pledged to take part in talks in a proper and mean­ing­ful way and that all cab­i­net de­ci­sions would be taken at for­mal meet­ings.

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Cllr John Clancy re­signed as leader of Birm­ing­ham City Coun­cil this week fol­low­ing the bins dis­pute

> In­terim coun­cil leader Ian Ward

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