Saturday, 20 November 2010

Not all councillors angered

From The Herald...


While a majority of Newcastle City councillors vented their frustrations over lord mayor John Tate yesterday, not all councillors shared their colleagues' strong views.

ALP councillor Sharon Claydon said calls for Mr Tate to step down after Ms Hyam's resignation were excessive.

"It's for the people of Newcastle to decide who their lord mayor is," she said.

"I'm absolutely not getting involved in what I regard as a contest of personalities and egos."

Cr Claydon said the community would ultimately decide whether Cr Tate should remain lord mayor.

"I'm not calling for his resignation. Have they [other councillors] thought through what that entails? It'll be up to the community to make those judgments at the right time."

Cr Tim Crakanthorp agreed with Cr Claydon.

Cr Michael Osborne agreed with other councillors' assertions that Ms Hyam was a major loss for the council, but he was not part of the call for the lord mayor to step down.

"I don't think there's any legal basis for it," he said.

"It's disappointing the lord mayor and general manager didn't have a better relationship, [but] I think there's always two sides to these sorts of stories."

Cr Nuatali Nelmes said after yesterday's councillor press conference that she was not calling for Cr Tate's resignation but had been disappointed by his tense relationship with Ms Hyam.

"I think that contributed to the general manager's resignation," she said.

She appeared to be backing away from her stance earlier in the day, when she joined six other councillors at a media conference at which a prepared statement was read, said to be on behalf of all 12 elected councillors. It said they were equally adamant that Cr Tate had to go.

Councillors Brad Luke and Shayne Connell, who were not at the conference, were unavailable last night.