A debate about the proposed ‘super-council’ in Nottinghamshire got heated as insults were traded.
The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council was compared with the leader of North Korea, while other councillors were labelled a “disgrace”.
Nottinghamshire County Council members were discussing the plan for a new “super-council”, which would involve scrapping district and borough councils.
The Ashfield Independents, who oppose the plan, used a rarely-used technical loophole to trigger a half-hour debate at the end of the meeting.
However, abouttwo-thirds of Conservative and Labour councillors left before the debate yesterday, Thursday, September 20.
It came after leaked documents revealed the council was considering seven options for the future of the super council.
The documents were seen at a meeting which the media was denied access to.
During an ill-tempered debate, Councillor Kay Cutts, Conservative leader of the council, said whoever leaked the documents “should be ashamed of themselves”.
But she was labelled ‘Kay Jong-un’, after the North Korean leader, by Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of the Ashfield Independents.
He also said the super-council plan would never happen, and it would be “the final nail in the coffin” of the council leader’s career.
Speaking about Coun Cutts, he said: “She’s done nothing but alienate her own group, the Mansfield Independent Group, the Labour Grou , the district and borough councils across the county, and now what she’s doing – which is more despotic than any of the other things she’s trying to do – is stifle democracy. In here and across the county.
“We’ve been refused the option to even debate the chance to have a referendum on whether there should be a super council.
“If Coun Cutts thinks this is the right thing to do, then let’s ask the people. Let’s have a referendum.”
Addressing Coun Cutts, he said: “You don’t care what anybody else has to say, and that’s why I think you’re finished.
“Your arrogance and your piety, you stand utterly alone now, you’ve got senior members of your own group briefing against you.
“You have a different view to me and you’re entitled to that. But what you’re not entitled to do is stop us talking about it.
“This is a waste of money on a vanity project that’s going nowhere, except as the final nail in the coffin of your career.”
Laughing as she got to her feet, Coun Cutts said: “We’ve got to save £54 million. We’ve got to find that money somewhere. I’ve had no positive suggestions from the Ashfield Independents – all they want to do is keep everything open and oppose everything.
“So they are completely negative and therefore what they add to this debate is uninteresting.
“So to suggest we have been secretive is ridiculous.
“We have a working group. Someone decided to leak all the documents. It doesn’t much matter – it certainly wasn’t me or my group.”
“We didn’t need to. Whoever did, they should feel ashamed of themselves. Perhaps they will apologise one day because it must have been a councillor.
“This isn’t about grandstanding. This about providing the services for Nottinghamshire that we should be providing.
“We are going to have a proper debate. We are going to look at the facts and the figures, and then we’ll decide what to do.”