Robinson’s silence after Broxtowe vote ‘dangerous’

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Councillors are still awaiting Richard Robinson’s response to a vote asking he step down from a senior position at Broxtowe Borough Council.

Having referred himself to the standards select committee the motion put forward by members of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Parties was altered from originally asking for his resignation from his senior post at the council.

But Cllr David Watts, Liberal Democrat, said he is still waiting to hear if his colleague will step down.

He added: “The point was made very well by a number of people, that it’s all about protecting the integrity of the council.

“There was a very clear message sent to Cllr Robinson that he should step down pending the outcome of an investigation into his actions.

“I was expecting him to announce this morning that he would step down but but we have been met by a wall of silence.

“It would not only be very dangerous for him to refuse, but it would be dangerous for the whole council. It would bring the council to a grinding stop. Resisting the vote would be utterly wrong.”

Councillors voted 19 to 13 in favour of the motion, described as a test for what the council should do in these circumstances.

So Cllr Watts is disappointed that the Labour Party seemed to vote along party lines.

“It smells very heavily of party whipping and I’m disappointed that they didn’t engage with the concerns people had.”

Steve Barber, Labour’s local party chair, spoke to the full council and who said the motion sought to usurp the role of the standards board. He slammed opponents for fostering the vote based on party politics alone.

“But he didn’t acknowledge the amendment to the motion.

Cllr Robinson’s referral to the standards board has been branded a delaying tactic by some, including Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry.

She said: “There is absolutely no need for an enquiry because he knows what he did and he even admitted it.

“He know’s what he’s done and I’m frankly appalled that he just hasn’t got the guts to step down from the cabinet.”

When asked if he would be announcing his response to the vote, Cllr Robinson gave no comment.