Committee place rejection confirmed

Coun Bob Brierley
Coun Bob Brierley

The absence of an outspoken Wigan councillor from a key town hall committee for the coming year has been confirmed.

Coun Bob Brierley had been offered a place on the Confident Places Scrutiny Committee having had his involvement on decision making bodies restricted in recent years.

However, the independent representative has rejected the offer which has now been formally recognised by the town hall and detailed in a report set to go before the full council next week.

According to the report, Coun Brierley’s place had been reserved for a non-group member and therefore, with him the lone non-attached representative, will not be offered to any other opposition councillor.

Coun Brierley had previously been told he was not permitted to sit on committees as a punishment for code of conduct breaches.

The offer of a committee place for this year followed his re-election in May.

He previously told the Evening Post: “The only committee I wish to be on would be the audit committee as this would fulfil the needs of the residents of Hindley Green.”

The ruling Labour Party holds 65 out of 75 council seats, equating to an 86 per cent share (114) of committee places. The Tories have nine places, Independent Network four and Standish Independents four.

According to the report, newly elected Independent Network member Coun Steve Jones has indicated he will not be taking up the offer of seats on the health and social care committee and the constitutional working group committee.

His Independent Network colleague, Coun Jamie Hodgkinson, has taken up a place on the latter.

The vacancy created by Coun George Fairhurst stepping down from the planning committee also remains vacant indicating that Coun Debbie Fairhurst has opted not to replace her father-in-law.

The report reads: “Following the Annual Council meeting, notification has been received from Coun Brierley that he does not wish to take up the seat on the Confident Council Scrutiny Committee, however the legislation dictates that this seat must remain available to any non-group member and as such will not be offered to other groups.”

The full council will meet at the town hall next Wednesday from 6pm.