December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
A councillor has accused her political opponents of trying to “sideline” her after they voted not to let her join a new committee.
Labour councillor Kimberley Williams, who runs her own company and has extensive experience in human resources, had sought election to Felixstowe Town Council’s new personnel committee because she wanted to use her expertise.
However, the nine Conservatives present outvoted the four Labour members – deciding that the new committee should comprise only the mayor, deputy mayor and chairman and vice chairman of the finance and general purposes committee.
Ms Williams said the decision was “a disgrace”. She believed she was a suitable candidate because of the skills she would bring to the post and that she was being “sidelined”.
She would ask the monitoring officer at Suffolk Coastal to look at the decision.
Conservative Andy Smith said the personnel committee would not be setting council policy, but would be dealing with difficult, sensitive and intricate matters and would work more effectively if it was a small, compact group.
The four councillors selected as members already held senior posts within the council and would be acceptable to the council as a whole.
Ms Williams said: “ I am extremely disappointed that councillor Smith has taken the position that he has. It is my understanding since I joined this council that it has been the intention that committees should be inclusive of both sides of this chamber.
“In my view it is an error of judgement for us (the Labour councillors) not to be included as we are one-third of this chamber.
“It is also not accurate to state that the committee will not be determining policy in respect of the HR function as there will be many policies to decide.”