There was a very low turn out at the Council Meeting on Wednesday 2nd November. This was very unfortunate because the newly elected Mayor, Shanker Gaire, the first Nepalese Mayor in Britain, announced his resignation. Below is his speech in full:
Good Evening everyone.
Please be seated
I have an important personal announcement to make.
I have been an active member of the conservative party for 10 years and it is with profound sadness that I wish to inform you that I am resigning from the Party with immediate effect. My wife is doing the same.
I took on the position of the Mayor purely with the objective of serving the community. But again with sadness and a heavy heart I am resigning from the position of Mayor with immediate effect, as I have not found the environment conducive to enable this. We shall both however remain as independent Councillors.
Having taken the position of the Mayor, I am accountable to the public and I owe them an explanation as to the reason why I have taken a decision to leave midway from this privileged but a responsible position. The public have shown immense respect, faith and cooperation both to me and my wife and we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to them. But I do not wish to let them down by continuing in a position in which I am merely a puppet in the hands of a few who are controlling and intimidating.
The environment within the Council I believe has been hostile, particularly in the last 2 months. It has always been said that politics is a dirty game. However, I had not believed in it but now I stand corrected on this matter.
Without mincing words, I would like to inform you that I may be a Mayor in your eyes, but in the Council, I have been disrespected and disregarded through words, action, tone, attitude and body language by the 2 key people in the executive positions, namely the Chief Executive and/ or the Town Clerk and the Council Leader. I am not consulted over matters and nor is my approval sought. I do not wish to take up your time citing instances but, as a case in point, I would like to draw your attention to item 7 (a) on page 9 of today’s Agenda. The Chief Executive puts on record the opening of the disabled swing conversion on 15 October by Rt Honourable Michael Fallon but deliberately omits my presence as well as the handing over a cheque of £1765. She also fails to report the charity dinner that I organised on the 9th of October to raise this fund. The Mayor’s activities in this report as you can see in non-existent. I consider this to be an insult not only to me as an individual but also to the position of a Mayor. Further instances can be found in recent emails exchanged with these two individuals, copies of which you can feel free to collect from me or my wife.
I would also like to put on record that I have not claimed a single penny from my allowances both as a Mayor and even as Deputy Mayor – not even the basic expenses incurred that I am entitled to. In the past 6 months as Mayor, I have never been advised about the allocated Mayoral budget or allowance, and I have not authorised the spending of a single penny. Together with other issues, I have demanded from the Chief Executive through an email dated 21 Oct 2016 that I be apprised of the monthly allocation, expenses incurred and the person who authorised this expenditure. To date I have not received any response. But I shall continue to follow this up as an Independent Councillor.
It was even suggested by some Councillors, that I quietly stay in the background as they run the show, but this is against my principle and character. I therefore step down from being a puppet Mayor and rather than take the pressure of internal dirty politics I am happy to be an independent Councillor.
Finally, I thought that Brexit had created a barrier mainly for Europeans but it seems that this spirit was extended beyond Europe and created a barrier for the only Nepalese elected as Mayor in the history of the United Kingdom.
May you succeed in your pursuits.