Non-political role of deputy mayor
Dear Sir, — There was an interesting article on page seven of the Chronicle dated 27th February on the decision made by the Labour-Independent group administration of Cheshire East Council not to appoint the deputy mayor 2019/20 as mayor elect for the year 2020/21. It must be the first time that the convention that the deputy mayor was not automatically elected mayor for the following year has been adopted. The reason given was that Coun Steve Edgar had not been impartial in accepting the position of Conservative whip at the same time as being deputy mayor.
The deputy mayor usually is the substitute for the mayor for civic duties so should be politically impartial, as is the mayor. In my opinion, for Coun Edgar to be appointed Conservative whip, he has done exactly the opposite.
I say this because the role of a party whip is to make certain that party members vote on party lines. I am certain that both in national and local government, when crucial votes take place, people will have heard of a three line whip being put in place.
That means if a party member votes against their party line, they could be suspended. I know this has taken place and is in party rules.
Perhaps Coun Liz Wardlaw, in her letter in the 5th March edition of the Chronicle, should possibly have advised Coun Edgar that, as deputy mayor, he should have become a member of a planning committee, who must be non-political. — Yours faithfully,