Passions were running high as usual at last night’s meeting at Cardiff Council to decide leader Phil Bale’s fate. During the meeting, which ended with Coun Bale surviving the vote of no confidence with 41-27 votes,
The Cardiffian collated the best quotes from the evening.
1. Cardiff Council leader Phil Bale got the first laugh in by declaring a “personal but not prejudicial interest” in the notice of motion on the meeting’s agenda.
2. Conservative Councillor Craig Williams, who proposed the initial notice of motion, set the scene by kicking off debates and pleaded with the Labour group: “I wish everyone else would vote what they say in private.”
3. Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Judith Woodman was asked to withdraw the word “lies” from her speech, after saying Coun Bale had lied to politicians and the public, to which she agreed and apologised.
4. “Our [the council’s] reputation is in tatters” – Coun Woodman.
5. “We haven’t seen the language of hope and ambition. It has been of spite and malice” – Coun Bale on the language used in the run up to last night’s meeting.
6. “There have even been comments about my appearance” – Coun Bale said we can find him in Primark clothes faster than we would find him in Prada.
7. Labour Councillor Iona Gordon, representing Riverside, began her speech in support of Coun Bale by addressing “gossip” and said she didn’t know what the Independents’ motives were, angering some of the opposition.
8. “There has been much speculation about rebels and canons, which often go off in the wrong direction or roll around on deck and then go overboard” – Councillor Graham Hinchey on the split in the Labour group.
9. “This is a council chamber, not American wrestling” – Councillor Ed Stubbs on Coun Woodman’s comments in the press saying Coun Bale was on a “hiding to hell”.
10. Councillor White dubbed the motion “an undignified attempt at character assassination” which “served self interest, not the people of Cardiff.”
11. “Cardiff is in the leader’s blood” – Councillor Daniel De’Ath on Coun Bale’s commitment to the council before pledging his full support.
12. “It is not just a storm in a teacup – this is a tsunami” – Councillor Lyn Hudson on the problems in the council before declaring there was “cross-party support for the motion.”
13. Councillor Dilwar Ali said Coun Bale had the “full backing” of the Labour group, which was met with some laughter from the chamber.
14. “This is clearly about Williams and Woodman because surprise surprise they are the Parliamentary candidates for May” – Councillor Ramesh Patel highlighted how the leaders of the motion are Parliamentary candidates for May’s General Election.
15. Coun Patel even asked: “Are the Independents really independent?” which was met by a response from Coun Sanders to say she was wholeheartedly Independent.
16. “What a cheek for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to point the finger at Phil Bale. Maybe they should look to their friends in Westminster” – Councillor Sue Lent.
17. On a lighter note, Councillor Ben Thomas requested not to stand for his speech, because his colleague’s guide dog had fallen asleep on his feet and he didn’t want to disturb the black Labrador.
18. Tensions were high over consultation, highlighted when Coun Lent said “most people” were “appalled by the vindictive attacks” on Phil Bale and the council, but Councillor Davies responded by saying “I’d like to know what sort of consultation you did because if it was of the type you did on the budget, and then ignored, you don’t have a leg to stand on.”
19. “The enemy is not those facing you in the opposition ranks but the people who are sitting at the side of you” – Councillor Dianne Rees
20. Eating noodles inside “doesn’t show the respect this chamber deserves” – Coun Dianne Rees drew attention to a councillor who had chose to eat his noodles with chopsticks inside the chamber before the meeting started.
21. Coun Craig Williams said at the start of the debates that the Labour group needed to “shut up or put up”, and with the vote of no confidence being defeated by 41-27, Labour will now have to move on.