What the Worcester News says...

THE golden chains of the mayor of Worcester are tarnished today.

There are fears that the dignity of the 400-year-old office has been compromised by a piece of shameless political horse trading.

Councillor Alan Amos appears to have been given the prestigious role in return for helping the Conservatives at the Guildhall snatch power from the ruling Labour group on Tuesday night.

When elections for Worcester City Council were held last month he was a member of the Labour party.

But he quit just four days ago to become an independent, freeing him to back the Tories in the crucial vote that returned them to power. They had themselves been ousted in a Labour coup just a year ago.

The council was in limbo after the election. The Conservatives were the largest party with 17 seats, but Labour had 16 and the support of one Lib Dem councillor. They had been negotiating for support from the lone Green which would have given them the majority they needed to continue to rule to roost.

Clearly, in such circumstances compromise is necessary to get decisions made.

But the deal that secured the Tory leadership risks being seen as beyond the pale.

The people of Worcester deserve to know if the office of the mayor, which has traditionally been largely ceremonial, has indeed been gifted to Alan Amos in return for his support of the Conservatives.

There are other key questions that demand answers: When did Alan Amos decide he was no longer happy as a Labour councillor and why?

Why didn’t he stand down and fight a by-election as an independent?

If the Conservatives had refused to make Cllr Amos mayor would he still have supported a change in administration?

Has he been offered any other inducements from the Conservatives in return for being made mayor?

In the interests of maintaining confidence in our city’s democracy, and the integrity of the office of mayor, we await a response.

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