A MOTION of no confidence in the Ryde mayor and deputy mayor has been tabled by town councillors, who have slammed a lack of transparency, inclusion and respect shown to colleagues.

Seven town councillors have signed a letter sent today (Friday) to the mayor, Cllr Michael Lilley, calling for an extraordinary general meeting to be held.

They said they had no confidence in five fellow town councillors — Cllrs Lilley, deputy mayor Adrian Axford, Phil Jordan, Nancy Farrell and Diana Conyers.

The move comes after two clerks left the council.

One of the signatories, Cllr Tim Wakeley, said the councillors who agreed terms with the clerks did so without the proper authority.

He also raised concerns that without qualified clerks, the town council lacked the 'power of competence' to make decisions.

He said: "There has been a lot of tension in the council. Due to the unhappiness, we are seeking the meeting to pursue a motion of no confidence, where we can express our views about the processes that have been employed and explore the consequences.

"At an informal meeting last night, the panel could not identify the powers they used in our standing orders. In other words, we feel they have acted outside of their powers."

Another signatory, Cllr Henry Adams, accused members of 'covering up' the issue and said they needed to be more transparent.

He said: "It has all come as a bit of a shock. We are hoping to know what has been going on."

Cllr Sue Lyons said: "We need answers — were there staff grievances, were there allegations of bullying, why was a non-disclosure agreement signed?

"This is very difficult. As a councillor, I was not aware of what was happening and what was being done in my name."

Cllr Lyons also said she understood the council had spent £1,400 on legal and HR advice.

When asked about the motion of no confidence, Cllr Lilley said he had not yet seen the letter but pledged to defend himself.

He said: "Anyone can take this action and I have to stand up and put my case forward."

The letter calls for Cllr Lilley to convene the meeting within seven days or the signatories will schedule it themselves.

The other signatories were Cllrs Julian Critchley, Jim Moody, Ian Stephens and Karen Lucioni.

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