A DEPUTY council leader has come under fire after a vote of no confidence was brought against her over a decision made about free parking.
Julia Jessel, deputy leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council claims she is victim to ‘a personal vendetta’ after the vote of no confidence in which opposition members slammed her for making a ‘significant decision’ without consultation.
Tory councillor, Julia Jessel took the ultimate decision to make Fairfield Road car park free, in Uttoxter, a decision she had the power to make in her role as deputy leader of the council.
She was found not to have breached any rules as it was not seen to be a key decision for the authority.
As a result she will keep her position after she won the vote by 18 votes to 17.
Councillor Jessel said: “I did not break any rules and I took the decision with the best intentions.
“I think it is a personal vendetta against me as there are former Conservatives hellbent on getting me off the cabinet and they chose a subject where no rules had been broken and I acted with consent.
“I took the decision to provide better services for local people. They had plenty of opportunities to raise concerns about it. I think it is regrettable that councillors put themselves before the people they represent.”
Councillor Jessel added the ‘grossly underused’ car park saw only nine spaces out of 73 used on a daily basis.
However, Julian Mott, leader of the opposition party, said it was the fact they were not informed about the decision which had led to the vote.
Julian Mott, who also represents Horninglow on the borough council, said: “It was about the decision to make the car park free as we were concerned because the first time we found out about it was in the press rather than officially through the council.
“We are objecting to the fact that we had not been told and it was already in the press. We thought it was a significant decision.
“We are just concerned the decision had already been made and came into force on January 1 and we did not know about it and that’s not good enough.”