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Nick Martin survives vote, continues as mayor of Swindon
THE Mayor of Swindon, Nick Martin, survived a historic vote of no confidence last night after a heated council meeting.
A motion was put forward by the leader of the Swindon Labour Group, Coun Jim Grant (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney) after accusations the mayor made derogatory remarks about people with learning difficulties earlier this year. In October, during a presentation by a council officer into issues faced with adults with disabilities, he is alleged to have said: “They aren’t still letting those mongols have sex with each other are they?”
The Labour Party argued that this demeaned the position of Mayor and that Coun Nick Martin (Con, Shaw) should no longer hold the title.
He offered his resignation if the complaints against him were dropped but this was rejected and he will now face a standards hearing next year.
However, his supporters say while this investigation is underway due process should be followed and that any vote of no confidence would be to effectively find the mayor guilty before proven so.
An amendment of this nature was passed by the council and then voted through. Every member of the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives at the meeting, with the exception of Coun Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw), voted to keep the mayor in office, passing the altered motion 27-25.
Speaking after the meeting Coun Martin, who exercised his own right to vote, said: “I wish this vote had not taken place and I feel it did not need to.
“I have always cared a great deal about Swindon and the people of Swindon - each and every one of them.”
Asked if would continue his duties as normal until the standards hearing next year he defiantly said: “Why not?”
It was a lively meeting with shouts of “Shame on you” coming from the busy public gallery, when the result was announced.
Many of those who came were from disabled charities who were not only disappointed with the outcome but also that the Mayor had not resigned himself.
“I think it should never have even got this far,” said Teresa Hardman, 47, of the Swindon Advocacy Movement.
“He should have resigned straight away as soon as these allegations were made. I’m very disappointed with what has happened and that he is still here.”
The motion of no confidence against the office of mayor was thought to be the first in Swindon’s history.
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