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Blackburn with Darwen leader accused over MP bid
BOROUGH boss Kate Hollern has been accused of tinkering with Blackburn with Darwen council’s constitution to suit her own political ambitions.
Opposition group leaders Mike Lee and David Foster are concerned about new amendments to its procedures due to be voted through on Thursday.
Former Tory borough leader Colin Rigby accused her of ‘tinkering’ with the constitution to meet her desire to succeed Jack Straw as MP for Blackburn..
At Thursday’s annual meeting, Coun Hollern has proposed a new document to incorporate changes made in the last three years.
She also proposes to change the leader’s four-year term from the current September date to that of the annual council forum, which normally takes place in May.
This means Coun Hollern will have to be re-elected for just 11 months to ‘realign’ the council calendar.
Conveniently, this follows the May 7 General Election when she will stand for Labour.
Coun Rigby said: “It looks like tinkering with the constitution to fit in with Kate’s Parliamentary ambitions and to keep the lid on Labour group tensions over who should succeed her.”
Coun Hollern rejected his claim: “It’s nothing to do with whether or not I become MP. It’s making sense of the council calendar. The only reason the four-year term runs from September is because that’s when the coalition lost control in 2010. This is the first opportunity to sort this out.”
LibDem leader Coun Foster said: “I am concerned we will not see this new constitution before we vote. I shall be meeting council lawyers about this.”