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Voting figures revealed as questions asked over Labour councillors not voting for their own budget

Voting figures revealed as questions asked over Labour councillors not voting for their own budget

🕔06.Mar 2015

Ten Labour councillors failed to vote for their own budget at this week’s Birmingham city council meeting, it can be revealed.

Five of the 77 members of the controlling Labour group failed to turn up at all.

Of the 72 that did attend, 67 voted in favour of the main budget resolution which pushed through spending cuts of over £100 million and job losses of about 1,000.

Those not taking part according to draft records of the electronic voting machine included Jess Phillips, who is the prospective Labour parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Yardley.

Cllr Phillips was at the meeting but her name does not appear on records of any of the votes taken.

Cllr Phillips contacted Chamberlain Files after this article appeared to explain that she had suddenly to leave the meeting and return home to deal with a family emergency.

Cllr Kerry Jenkins (Lab Hall Green), Cllr Caroline Badley (Lab Quinton) and Uzma Ahmed (Bordesley Green) also did not vote for the party’s budget even though they were at the meeting.

Bizarrely, the leader of the council Sir Albert Bore is also recorded as not having voted for the budget. However, this can be explained by Sir Albert having to address the council from the podium next to the Lord Mayor away from his usual seat where his push-button electronic voting station is situated.

A colleague could have pressed the ‘yes’ button for him, but this did not happen.

Conservative councillor Rob Sealey is recorded as having “pressed the wrong button”, voting mistakenly in the name of his colleague Reg Corns, who was not at the meeting.

In total 109 of the 120 city councillors attended the meeting.

Those not there, according to the draft minutes, were:

Reg Corns (Con), Ian Cruise (Lab), Eddie Freeman (Con ), Peter Griffiths (Lab), Barry Henley (Lab), Chaudhry Rashid (Lab), Guy Roberts (Con), Karen Trench (Lib Dem),  Anne Underwood (Con), Margaret Waddington (Con) and Phil Walkling (Lab).

Council leaders arranged to break with tradition and publish the voting figures and attendance record after it became clear that a number of councillors had not attended the meeting or did not vote.

The information was finally released three days after the meeting.

Chief executive Mark Rogers explained it had been necessary to “confirm the accuracy of the reister” with the party leaders.

Voting on the various budget resolutions was:

On a Conservative amendment – Yes 35, No 67, Abstain 1, not voted 1.

On a Liberal Democrat amendment – Yes 36, No 67.

On the Labour budget resolutions – Yes 67, No 36.

Yes 67, No 22, Abstain 1, not voted 1.

Yes 74, No 24, Abstain 1, not voted 1.

Yes 69, No 26, not voted 3.

Liberal Democrat councillor Jerry Evans abstained on the main budget resolutions.

Tory councillor Guy Roberts abstained on the vote for his party’s amendment.

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