Leader Loses Confidence Vote Over Social Services

Council leader Chris Holley has lost a Valentine’s Day vote of no confidence from councillors.It came last night at the end of discussions on reports into the state of the city’s social services section.

The extraordinary meeting followed the death of baby Aaron Gilbert, the 13-month-old toddler from Townhill who died after being hit by his mother’s partner Andrew Lloyd in 2005.

Lloyd was later given 24 years in jail for murder.

The baby’s mother, Rebecca Lewis, aged 21, was jailed for six years after she was convicted of familial homicide on the basis that she failed to prevent Lloyd from killing her son.

The vote against Councillor Holley was triggered by an earlier vote for cabinet member for social services, Wendy Fitzgerald, to resign or be moved from her job by the leader.

The results have no constitutional implication however, because the meeting did not contain all of the authority’s 72 elected representatives – a majority of which are required for a no confidence vote to be implicated.

But Councillor Holley said: “It means a lot to me personally.

“I am upset that the Labour Party decided to play politics with social services, especially the tragic events surrounding Aaron Gilbert.”