BCP Council leader Vikki Slade survives confidence vote

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Vikki Slade
Image caption,
Liberal Democrat Vikki Slade was elected leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council in May 2019

A council leader has survived a vote of no confidence after the poll was tied and it was left to the authority's chairman to keep her in power.

Liberal Democrat Vikki Slade became leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council in May 2019 after forming a cross-party coalition.

The vote on a motion from the opposition Conservatives to remove her had been split 37-37 on Tuesday night.

Council chairman David Flagg used his casting vote to support Mrs Slade.

Mr Flagg, a former Conservative, said he was dedicating his vote to his fellow Christchurch Independent councillor Colin Bungey who died in April.

Mrs Slade has been leading her controlling group, known as the Unity Alliance, as a minority administration since Mr Bungey's death.

Following this, the Conservative group's leader Drew Mellor approached Mrs Slade about forming a united ruling group which she "flatly rejected", the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) reported.

Mr Mellor said he appreciated the "enormous effort and tireless dedication" of Mrs Slade but that it was his "moral duty" to try to form a majority administration.

"This is the time for us all to sit down as adults and come together," he told the meeting.

'Horrible week'

However, he gained only one supporter from outside his 36-strong group - an independent former Conservative councillor.

Speaking after the vote, Mrs Slade said she has been "proud" of her administration's achievements and thanked her colleagues for their support.

"It's been the most horrible week, but the public have been so nice and their comments have been really heartening," she added.

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