Council leader Jason Kitcat has described moves by his political rivals to issue a vote of no confidence against his administration as “utterly meaningless”.
Brighton and Hove City councillors seem set to vote through their disapproval of the current administration at what is expected to be a heated council meeting tonight.
Despite the likelihood that a motion of no confidence will be passed against the current administration, no one is writing Coun Kitcat’s political obituary as the council leader seems certain to stay on having already indicated he will not resign.
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The vote of no confidence was launched by the Labour group in direct response to the Greens’ proposals to raise council tax by 4.75%.
Labour leader Warren Morgan said that Coun Kitcat was a “magician” who was deploying tactics he has never seen in 25 years of local government.
He told The Argus: “Because of what people are saying on the doorstep and in The Argus, we are doing what we are able to do under the rules of the council and we hope that Jason Kitcat will do the right thing.
“In 25 years of being in politics I have never seen anything like this. The Greens have decided what their cuts are going to be, put them forward in their own budget, then said they can’t agree to these cuts and left it to the opposition parties and the public to vote these through by supporting their tax rise.”
Coun Kitcat said: “As all Labour councillors know, Councillor Morgan’s motion is an utterly meaningless gesture.
“Labour ignored several similar successful motions during their time in office, so it will be interesting to see what their arguments are.
“If Councillor Morgan is so keen to work with the Tories, they together do have the power to form an administration whenever they want to.”
Coun Theobald said although the motion carried no legal weight, the Greens should heed the message behind it.
He said: “The Labour party put this motion down and we are aware that legally it means nothing unless the Greens choose from their positions themselves.
“What it does show is the views of councillors on the current administration.
“The Green administration should take notice of the views of the residents and the councillors as representatives of these residents.”
Coun Theobald also conceded that the prospect of a referendum remained extremely unlikely as the Greens would struggle to find support for their 4.75% rise.
He said: “We are the one party who have been consistent and said what we think and that is we want the council tax frozen and we would seek to amend any proposed council tax.”
The council meeting will be held tonight from 4.30pm in Hove Town Hall.