COUNCILLORS were accused of acting like “ego jockeys” during a debate on the role of politics within the Driffield town council chamber.
And Coun David Credland called for ego to be left out of the council chamber as it did more harm to the local authority than politics.
He spoke out as the councillors were asked to adopt a protocol document outlining what was expected of them and of council staff.
Within the document was a section on guidance relating to political groups, which it was said were becoming more of a feature within parish and town councils.
Coun Steve Poessl wanted the section on political groups removing from the protocol and said: “Politics should not affect the council. I know we all belong to different political groups but we all try to work as one. We have always said that.
“When I first joined the council a lot of members were Labour but it was never put across the council chamber that we were here as Labour and you will do what Labour want - or Conservatives or Liberals – we were here for the good of the people.”
Coun Paul Rounding said: “Coun Poessl, I agreed with you word for word. I personally wanted this out.”
But Coun Credland said: “It depends how we care to define politics. Politics is the actual wielding of power and we cannot take out aspects of what we do.
“What I would like to see taken out if we take something out and, if we are going to moralise, why not let’s take ego out because ego does far more harm for this council than any other thing ever will. To moralise about doing good for the public – I wish we would bear that in mind rather than be ego jockeys which, while not pointing the finger at any particular individual, we have all seen happen.”
Coun Credland added: “Politics is not the problem. My idea of politics, to explain why I’m a political creature, isn’t to be lop-sided or ill balanced in judgement, it’s to show clearly what the basis is for the moral compass which hopefully we all have. There is nothing wrong to my mind in a person stating what their moral compass is, where they derive their bearings from. Ego is far worse than politics. I know what my political views are, I know why they are and they form the basis for a moral compass. Anyone who doesn’t want a moral compass or does not have a sense of political direction can sound off as much as they like but I say get rid of the ego.”
Coun Georgina Lucas said the section on political groups was intended to cover for the future: “It’s just to cover us in case anything did happen. Someone might come on to the council with very strong political views who tries to get the clerk to do something. This covers for that eventuality.”
Coun Joyce Fletcher said: “We are not politically minded. Most people do not say what they are.”
Coun Poessl added: “This council has always promoted itself as being non political. The public do not want politics in the council in any shape or form. I am a socialist through I through. I am all for the working class and I know where rights and wrongs are but I do not use a political hammer to belt it home with.”
The council adopted the protocol my majority vote, including the section on political groups.