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Motion to remove Sohail Munawar as leader to go before full council

A motion to remove the leader of Slough Borough Council (SBC) will be discussed at a full council meeting next week.

On Tuesday (Nov28), councillors will discuss the motion to remove Councillor Sohail Munawar as leader and select a new one should the motion be carried.

The vote of no confidence has been signed by Labour councillors Roger Davis (Cippenham Green), Natasa Pantelic (Cippenham Meadows), Pavitar Mann (Britwell and Northborough), former SBC leader Rob Anderson (Britwell and Northborough) and Sabia Hussain (Central).

Cllr Munawar has been suspended by the Labour Party during an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.

The motion says SBC has lost confidence in Cllr Munawar, accusing him of failing to conduct an open and transparent recruitment process to secure a permanent chief executive.

On Monday, October 30, Cllr Hussain launched a damning objection to Roger Parkin’s appointment to the role by Cllr Munawar.

The motion says: “Councillor Munawar has not acknowledged his accountability for the failure to speedily replace the previous chief executive, despite assertions that it was vital to do so 11 months ago.

“He seems to be more concerned with getting an outcome that suits him rather than with protecting the authority by conducting a fair recruitment process,” the signees add.

The council’s previous chief executive Ruth Bagley left her role at the end of 2016.

Last week Cllr Munawar announced an independent review will be carried out into the recruitment of the chief executive and senior officers in the interests of ‘openness and transparency’.

However, councillors are set to vote on Mr Parkin’s appointment in ‘Part 2’ of Tuesday’s meeting, meaning press and public will be excluded.

Slough’s Conservative Group deputy leader Cllr Rayman Bains (Con, Upton) said he ‘100 per cent’ believed the vote should be made public.

He added: “The public should be able to see what we’re talking about.

“What they want to hide here is not his [Mr Parkin’s] personal details or financial details, they want to keep from the public all the shenanigans that have been happened over the past year at the top level of the council.”

Cllr Hussain was sacked as deputy leader by Cllr Munawar earlier this month, which the motion says has arisen from complaints about Cllr Munawar’s behaviour made by Cllr Hussain and several female councillors.

Next week’s motion also accuses Cllr Munawar of having ‘adopted authoritarian control rather than showing leadership and bringing the council together to select a new chief executive’ and says councillors have been ‘isolated and left feeling irrelevant’.

It says Cllr Munawar has ‘consistently failed’ to ensure SBC’s ruling group is a cohesive policy-making body.

Councillors will also vote in public on the appointment of SBC governance service lead Sushil Thobani as SBC’s monitoring officer, a role which involves ensuring elected members maintain high standards of conduct.

The meeting will take place at The Curve in William Street from 7pm.

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  • be_ transparent

    13:01, 23 November 2017

    The CEO’s appointment discussion at Slough council meeting can only be kept secret legally IF it is in the public interest to do so. I think its obviously in the public interest for this item to be public after all that has gone on. This story is current in the local news media, and has been referred to by at least two of the main political parties. The council must carefully review its legal position here - it may break the law if it keeps this item secret when it shouldn’t. Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act is very clear.

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