Darlington Liberation Army launch petition calling for the immediate resignation of council leader and his cabinet

The Darlington Liberation Army (DLA) has launched a petition demanding the immediate resignation of a council leader and his cabinet.

The group is calling for a vote of no confidence in council leader Bill Dixon and his fellow councillors, claiming Darlington Borough Council is turning the town centre into a “ghost town”.

The DLA was established earlier this year in the wake of conflict between town centre traders and Darlington Borough Council over car parking policies.

It aims to act as a channel for frustrated residents and traders to voice their opinions on the council and its policies.

The group counts among its supporters local florist Rob Metcalfe, who has a copy of the petition available to sign at his shop, Claire Metcalfe Florists, on Bondgate.

Accusing Darlington Borough Council of “serious failings” it says:

“We would like to declare a vote of no confidence in William Dixon and all of the other Cabinet members.

“We ask that as a result of their serious failings they all resign from their positions as council leader and cabinet members respectively, with immediate effect.

“By signing this petition we express that we no longer have any confidence in the leader and the cabinet and request that they stand down now.”

 An online version of the petition – set up by a John Simpson at change.org – includes a statement saying:
“It is the belief of the Darlington Liberation Army that the present council leader, working hand in hand with his own personally selected cabinet members are no longer working with the best interests at heart of the good people of Darlington…

“Their decision making appears to be professionally skewed and has ulterior motive/s and as such they are turning the town centre into a ghost town not only for shoppers but retailers…”

According to Darlington Borough Council’s website, any petition containing more than 1,000 signatures will be debated by the cabinet at the next possible meeting.

The petition organiser will be given five minutes to present it at the meeting and the petition will then be discussed by members of the cabinet who will decide how to respond to issues raised.

 Councillor Dixon said the petition was the group’s “democratic right” and said it would be debated – even if it fell short of attracting 1,000 names – at a meeting of the full council on December 4.

He added: “I will make sure that happens.”

Asked if he was considering his position in the light of the petition he replied: “Definitely not. That’s a matter for the electorate.

Source –  Northern Echo,  05 Nov 2014

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