CONFIDENCE in East Hampshire District Council leader Ken Moon is on the wane despite him surviving a vote of no confidence.
The Conservative councillor was only elected leader last year, but he could now find himself isolated and unable to run the authority, say senior party members.
To oust Cllr Moon under party rules, 20 of the 39 strong Conservative group needed to agree the no confidence motion, but only 19 did when the vote took place last week.
However, only 17 backed Cllr Moon, who represents Horndean and Clanfield. One adviser to the majority Conservative group on the council said: “This is very serious. He survived the vote on a technicality and one has to wonder whether he can continue.
“If he can’t carry the group with him then policies won’t be agreed and his position will become untenable.
“He needs to spend considerable time building bridges and that may adversely affect the running of the council. It’s up to him, but unless he does something this won’t go away.”
The vote was called for after experienced and long serving councillors, including Jennifer Gray and Richard Millard, resigned from the policy making cabinet, saying they couldn’t support Cllr Moon.
Another senior local Conservative said: “Inexperienced members have been appointed to lead the important planning and finance departments, and Cllr Moon also has to take ultimate responsibility for the Core Strategy fiasco, and the £170,000 needed to correct it. And more problems are likely to surface in the coming months.”
The strategy cost about £250,000, but a government inspector didn’t approve it, saying it needed re-working.
And those behind the ‘no confidence’ motion said recently that widely held beliefs the council offices at Penns Place will be sold and EHDC and Havant councils will merge, need clarifying.
It is thought that Cllr Moon could pacify his group and get the council back on track by asking two experienced colleagues to join the council cabinet.
He said internal Conservative group issues are confidential, so neither he nor other councillors could comment.
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Weather for Petersfield
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
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Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
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