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Geoff Driver decrees only Tories allowed to speak at County's Cabinet meetings


Geoff Driver
Geoff Driver
Chris Satori

Lancashire County Councillors are still smarting after its Cabinet agreed on 8 March (see minutes) to a proposal by by Conservative Council Leader Geoff Driver to bar any councillor from addressing his all-Tory Cabinet who was not a Cabinet member, other than the Leader and Deputy Leader of the  main opposition party.

The County Council consists of 44 Conservative councillors, 30 Labour, 4 Liberal Democrats, 1 Green, 1 UKIP and 4 independents. But the Cabinet consists entirely of Conservatives, with no other party being represented on it.

Driver claimed that it was to prevent the meeting from becoming a 'circus' and suggested that it was 'normal' for decisions to be taken in secret. (He may have been recalling the payments he authorised of over £500,000 to David McElhinney, the boss of One Connect, that even the County Treasurer wasn't aware of at the time.)

Driver still out on bail

It's not the first time Driver has been accused of being dictatorial; last year he was accused of restructuring the top executive jobs at County to get rid of Chief Exec Jo Turton. In July, Driver had banned Ms Turton and four other senior staff from all briefings which he attends. It was understood that this was because they might be called as witnesses in the current police investigation into Driver who is currently out on bail until 22 May 2018 following his arrest, along with three others, in May 2017 in relation to the BT One Connect scandal, allegedly for 'conspiring to pervert the course of justice and intimidating witnesses'.