'Childish' councillors blamed after Nottinghamshire County Council meeting abandoned

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Nottinghamshire County Council’s leader has issued a statement blaming the ‘childish actions’ of a group of independent councillors for the abandonment of a key meeting.

Coun Kay Cutts, leader of the Conservative group, was reacting to the late postponement of Thursday’s Extraordinary Meeting of the council at Nottingham’s County Hall.

Councillor Cutts said: “First, I wish to make clear that the Labour Group Leader, Councillor Alan Rhodes played no part in causing the postponement of today’s Extraordinary Meeting of the Council. Alan and I disagree on many things but we share proper respect for this authority.”

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“Councillor Jason Zadrozny, in contrast, repeatedly shows contempt for Nottinghamshire County Council and its Constitution.

“For Jason and his Ashfield Independent colleagues, this is just a platform for a series of staged publicity stunts.”

Coun Cutts says all of the group leaders, including Coun Zadrozny, agreed the meeting only needed a quorate number of 21 councillors in the Council Chamber to ensure reasonable social distancing.

“In turn, we agreed that those councillors present would reflect the current political balance of the council, with Coun Zadrozny and one other representing the Ashfield Independent Group.

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“At the meeting, one of the non-aligned Independent councillors, Councillor Maureen Dobson did not turn up and Ashfield Independent councillor Tom Hollis barged into the Council Chamber and claimed her place, which was not his to take, followed by other Ashfield Independents.

“Despite full co-operation from the other two group leaders, the Chief Executive was eventually left with no alternative but to postpone the meeting, because Councillor Zadrozny claimed he had no control over his colleagues who were acting ‘independently’.

“If that is the case, then the Ashfield Independents are not a proper, disciplined political group as defined by the Council’s Constitution and Councillor Zadrozny should not be claiming an £11,424 special responsibility allowance as a Group Leader.

“Nor should the public purse be funding special responsibility allowances for Councillor Hollis as the Group’s Deputy Leader, or Councillor Helen-Ann Smith as the Group’s Business Manager.

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“Their behaviour was disrespectful to other colleagues in the Chamber and above all to residents. Their childish actions have wasted officers’ time and taxpayers’ money.”

Coun Zadrozny has been asked for a response.