War of words over mayor's sacking of cabinet member

MANSFIELD councillor Stewart Rickersey has hit out at the council's management in response to his shock sacking as cabinet member last week.

The man who sparked the town's independent revolution was ousted from his role as portfolio holder for corporate issues in a cabinet reshuffle by the mayor he helped to elect.

Angry Coun Rickersey this week responded to his removal from office after returning from a pre-planned holiday, telling Chad that he blames senior management for his sacking following heated clashes over the way he has tried to improve the running of the council.

The businessman has long been a critic of the council's management and believes mayor Tony Egginton has been influenced in his decision by senior officers whose performance he has criticised.

"The management there is uncomfortable with being held to account. But I think it's important the council and management do have targets and that they are met and that they deliver," he said.

"There is significant waste inside the council and that needs to be identified and reduced and the question is whether the mayor has the courage to tackle some of these issues."

And the Lindhurst ward councillor said he was still waiting for the official reasons for his sacking almost two weeks after the news was made public.

But he has pledged to continue his support for Mr Egginton — although he must now call for changes in the council's set-up from the backbenches.

He said: "I don't think the mayor is getting the support from the management team that he has a right to expect. He has a very big job that is being made harder by the fact that not everyone is pulling in the same direction at the same time.

"I shall continue to support the mayor in a number of ways, but I will look at other ways to highlight inefficency in the council and present him with the facts as I see them, so that he can make the right decisions."

Mr Egginton insisted after the reshuffle that it was his decision to make the changes.

Yesterday Mansfield District Council chief executive Richard Goad hit back at the criticism, telling Chad that he was 'extremely disappointed 'to hear of Coun Rickersey's 'unwarranted attack' on the council's senior management.

"All members- and particularly members of the cabinet and the mayor - have received the full support and guidance of the senior officers, who have pledged their support for the mayor's four-year plan.

"It is regrettable that Coun Rickersey has consistently chosen both before his election to the council and afterwards to attack and demoralise employees of the council at a time when an excellent and productive relationship has been developed with the mayor and the majority of the councillors.

"The mayor's decision to remove Coun Rickersey from his cabinet was a decision for him alone in consultation with his cabinet colleagues and not prejudiced in any way by the senior management team."

"We will continue to support the mayor and the council's plans and continue to strive for greater levels of efficiency and effectiveness in the interests of the people of Mansfield district."