Derek Prodger survives 'no confidence' motion as Tories call Labour attacks 'shameful'

Councillor Derek Prodger, chairman of the fire authority

Councillor Derek Prodger, chairman of the fire authority

First published in News
Last updated
Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

COUNCILLOR Derek Prodger has survived a vote of 'no confidence' in his role as chairman of the fire authority - after the county's Conservatives called the attacks on him "scandalous".

The embattled Tory sat ashen-faced through a debate about his future yesterday following Mark Yates' back operation saga.

Mr Yates, the chief fire officer, was handed £3,000 towards having a private back operation from taxpayers’ funds after deciding not to wait 12 weeks on the NHS.

The decision, which was made by Cllr Prodger and two other politicians in a private meeting, led to Worcestershire County Council's Labour group making a bid to force him out with a 'no confidence' motion.

It led to furious clashes across the chamber yesterday, with Labour saying Cllr Prodger has "brought the council into disrepute" but the Tories calling it "a shameful personal attack" on their party colleague.

Councillor Peter McDonald, Labour group leader, said: "It is with deep regret that I do this, as I had hoped Cllr Prodger would have resigned before we got to this meeting.

"I'm doing this because of the cavalier way he's used the public purse, he's embarrassed not only this council but the fire authority.

"He is only on the fire authority because this council put him there in the first place.

"The decision to make the payment was made after the operation took place, so there was no saving - he has demonstrated a clear error of judgement."

But the Tories were infuriated by the attack, and cited Cllr Prodger's record.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: "I personally take great exception to the witch hunt the leader of the Labour Party has organised against Cllr Prodger, who has been an excellent chairman of the fire authority.

"You cannot get away from the fact that in the last two years the number of fires are down, even false alarms are down, he's made £3.5 million of efficiencies, he's made reforms by taking out 26 middle managers, even sickness rates are down 21 per cent.

"What you are attempting to do is wreck the reputation of a fine public servant."

Councillor Marcus Hart, a fellow Conservative who sits in the cabinet, said while some people may have found the back payment "outrageous" he did not as he wanted Mr Yates back at work quickly.

He called the motion "disgraceful, disgusting, shameful and vitriolic".

During the vote all the Tories present went against it, but the Liberal Democrats and Greens abstained.

Most Labour councillors did not vote on their motion, saying they had made their views clear, while seven actively abstained.

Mr Yates had private back surgery costing £5,090 back in October after deciding he was in too much pain to wait on the NHS.

He then claimed it on expenses, and 20 days after the operation was handed a contribution of £3,000 Mr Yates, who is paid £122,000, has now paid the money back after it hit the headlines.

Comments (25)

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10:16am Fri 16 May 14

CJH says...

Is it me, or does this report omit the voting details (the actual numbers)? By how many did he 'survive'. I want to know the total number of votes which could have been cast, and the number which were, for and against. Without this information there is no perspective to this matter. From the details in this report it looks like it was was just two men and a dog voting.
Is it me, or does this report omit the voting details (the actual numbers)? By how many did he 'survive'. I want to know the total number of votes which could have been cast, and the number which were, for and against. Without this information there is no perspective to this matter. From the details in this report it looks like it was was just two men and a dog voting. CJH
  • Score: 8

10:24am Fri 16 May 14

Hwicce says...

Just shows what a sham local politics is.

How can you abstain on a vote like this? You either have confidence or you don't. Those who didn't vote (either way) are cowards and should be ashamed of themselves.
Just shows what a sham local politics is. How can you abstain on a vote like this? You either have confidence or you don't. Those who didn't vote (either way) are cowards and should be ashamed of themselves. Hwicce
  • Score: 16

10:26am Fri 16 May 14

mack18 says...

Isn`t politics wonderful - Labour call for a vote of no confidence then ,according to this report, most of them don`t vote ?? Lib Dems and Greens take the cowards way out by slinking back into the shadows, not knowing what to think, so they`re a waste of space -when a vote on any subject is called for, these `representatives` of ours should be forced to vote one way or another otherwise resign themselves and let someone with a mind of their own take their place!
Having said that its not all bad news - thanks to Cllr Prodger there have been less fires and false alarms according to his mate Cllr Hardman ???
Isn`t politics wonderful - Labour call for a vote of no confidence then ,according to this report, most of them don`t vote ?? Lib Dems and Greens take the cowards way out by slinking back into the shadows, not knowing what to think, so they`re a waste of space -when a vote on any subject is called for, these `representatives` of ours should be forced to vote one way or another otherwise resign themselves and let someone with a mind of their own take their place! Having said that its not all bad news - thanks to Cllr Prodger there have been less fires and false alarms according to his mate Cllr Hardman ??? mack18
  • Score: 11

11:03am Fri 16 May 14

CJH says...

Yes, the firefighters and staff must be thrilled that he's been given the credit for all their hard work. However did they manage before he was removed from transport/highways and foist on them?
Yes, the firefighters and staff must be thrilled that he's been given the credit for all their hard work. However did they manage before he was removed from transport/highways and foist on them? CJH
  • Score: 16

11:40am Fri 16 May 14

denon says...

Watch the Webcast its very enlightening about the Labour Group
Watch the Webcast its very enlightening about the Labour Group denon
  • Score: 2

11:55am Fri 16 May 14

robe.rtm.29 says...

if all the fires and false calls are down due to councilor prodger in the last 2 years does that mean he has been setting them
if all the fires and false calls are down due to councilor prodger in the last 2 years does that mean he has been setting them robe.rtm.29
  • Score: 4

12:24pm Fri 16 May 14

mack18 says...

robe.rtm.29 wrote:
if all the fires and false calls are down due to councilor prodger in the last 2 years does that mean he has been setting them
Multi-tasking becomes more difficult as one gets older !
[quote][p][bold]robe.rtm.29 [/bold] wrote: if all the fires and false calls are down due to councilor prodger in the last 2 years does that mean he has been setting them[/p][/quote]Multi-tasking becomes more difficult as one gets older ! mack18
  • Score: 3

5:10pm Fri 16 May 14

Pegasus71 says...

26 Middle managers, I really don't think so. If he gets his way 44 firefighters jobs will go.
26 Middle managers, I really don't think so. If he gets his way 44 firefighters jobs will go. Pegasus71
  • Score: 2

5:35pm Fri 16 May 14

WRAA says...

How on earth did this "fumbler" manage to survive a vote of no confidence. Move over please Mr Prodger, do the decent thing and let someone from the service take care of business. These are "Lives" being looked after here, not politics!
How on earth did this "fumbler" manage to survive a vote of no confidence. Move over please Mr Prodger, do the decent thing and let someone from the service take care of business. These are "Lives" being looked after here, not politics! WRAA
  • Score: 1

5:54pm Fri 16 May 14

Doogie 46 says...

Rather puzzling that after all the vitriolic attacks on Councillor Prodger by the Labour group, so many of them abstained (along with the treacherous Lib-Dems and hapless Greens) when they were given the opportunity to bury him. Are they afraid of all-out war in case their own skeletons come tumbling out of the cupboard?
Neither Mr Yates nor the two other councillors (who seemed undecided whether or not they were at the meeting) come out of this any better than Councillor Prodger - perhaps they should all resign.
Rather puzzling that after all the vitriolic attacks on Councillor Prodger by the Labour group, so many of them abstained (along with the treacherous Lib-Dems and hapless Greens) when they were given the opportunity to bury him. Are they afraid of all-out war in case their own skeletons come tumbling out of the cupboard? Neither Mr Yates nor the two other councillors (who seemed undecided whether or not they were at the meeting) come out of this any better than Councillor Prodger - perhaps they should all resign. Doogie 46
  • Score: 2

12:26am Sat 17 May 14

Jabbadad says...

If you watched the same meetings which I have you will also witness the nasty comments coming fro the CONservatives via (still wet behind the ears) Coun Campion (who told the Labour group to shut up) and Marcus Hart who had the Audacity to Quote Winston Churchill, possibly the greatest Englishman during my lifetime, when he made comment against the Labour Group. Had I been in the Chamber CONservative coun Hart would, dispite meeting protocol, have received a very curt explanatry rebuke.
So don't just comment on the meetings go / attend the total lack of respect and democracy you could experience. Fran using a Phone is disrespect but nowhere as disrespectful as some councillors. It reminds me of why I am not a Councillor since I would have great difficulty in not handing out a thick ear now and then.
As to Derek Prodger I think he has also earned the Nick name TEFLON since he, like John Smith has made / been involved in, some monumental errors of common sense and he is still there.
If you watched the same meetings which I have you will also witness the nasty comments coming fro the CONservatives via (still wet behind the ears) Coun Campion (who told the Labour group to shut up) and Marcus Hart who had the Audacity to Quote Winston Churchill, possibly the greatest Englishman during my lifetime, when he made comment against the Labour Group. Had I been in the Chamber CONservative coun Hart would, dispite meeting protocol, have received a very curt explanatry rebuke. So don't just comment on the meetings go / attend the total lack of respect and democracy you could experience. Fran using a Phone is disrespect but nowhere as disrespectful as some councillors. It reminds me of why I am not a Councillor since I would have great difficulty in not handing out a thick ear now and then. As to Derek Prodger I think he has also earned the Nick name TEFLON since he, like John Smith has made / been involved in, some monumental errors of common sense and he is still there. Jabbadad
  • Score: 6

6:35pm Sun 18 May 14

momo15 says...

Jabbadad, we know you don't like the Conservatives but please stop going on with your CONservative typing. It is just childish and petty every time you type it that way.
Jabbadad, we know you don't like the Conservatives but please stop going on with your CONservative typing. It is just childish and petty every time you type it that way. momo15
  • Score: 2

7:55pm Sun 18 May 14

F1 Dave says...

Coun Campion, Coun Marcus Hart, Coun Prodger and Tory Leader Adrian Hardman.
Are quite simply a total disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!

I just hope next time they are voted out.
Coun Campion, Coun Marcus Hart, Coun Prodger and Tory Leader Adrian Hardman. Are quite simply a total disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! I just hope next time they are voted out. F1 Dave
  • Score: 7

8:13pm Sun 18 May 14

Jabbadad says...

momo15 if it upsets you don't read it. We have an editor for other actions.
And it's not that I don't like the CONservatives, it's just that I don't tolerate their cuts / actions against our Disabled and Older people. And since you may well support thier actions you will have to Grin & Bear it. And there is so much more that I could write.
But we will all have peace from Tuesday when peace is for all during the elections up until 23rd anyway. During which time all CONservatives who do support the disgraceful actions can wallow in the political mire that they represent / deserve.
momo15 if it upsets you don't read it. We have an editor for other actions. And it's not that I don't like the CONservatives, it's just that I don't tolerate their cuts / actions against our Disabled and Older people. And since you may well support thier actions you will have to Grin & Bear it. And there is so much more that I could write. But we will all have peace from Tuesday when peace is for all during the elections up until 23rd anyway. During which time all CONservatives who do support the disgraceful actions can wallow in the political mire that they represent / deserve. Jabbadad
  • Score: -1

1:31pm Mon 19 May 14

green49 says...

Well well well what a surprise, its a joke and an INSULT to the taxpayer that Prodger and his cronies are still there, i have been asked to stand for councillor but i wont and this is a perfect example of why, plus i know too much about how things that go on now and in the past, its better i remain anon as i can then get my point over as i only use facts or from my personnel experience of what i come across,
Well well well what a surprise, its a joke and an INSULT to the taxpayer that Prodger and his cronies are still there, i have been asked to stand for councillor but i wont and this is a perfect example of why, plus i know too much about how things that go on now and in the past, its better i remain anon as i can then get my point over as i only use facts or from my personnel experience of what i come across, green49
  • Score: 1

4:30pm Mon 19 May 14

Nortynorse says...

Don't worry about cronyism, HARDMAN just took over as PRODGERS buddy whilst PRODGERS "right hand man" one GEORGE LORD is languishing at her majesty's pleasure. ON THETAX PAYER OF COURSE!!!!!
Don't worry about cronyism, HARDMAN just took over as PRODGERS buddy whilst PRODGERS "right hand man" one GEORGE LORD is languishing at her majesty's pleasure. ON THETAX PAYER OF COURSE!!!!! Nortynorse
  • Score: 4

9:54pm Mon 19 May 14

CHANDBRUSH says...

These people do not care how they give away our money as long as their friemds profit.
These people do not care how they give away our money as long as their friemds profit. CHANDBRUSH
  • Score: 0

12:00am Tue 20 May 14

Jabbadad says...

I really felt that Coun Prodger had a case to answer over this, but can we seriously expect the CONservatives to vote against one of their own NASTY PARTY members? I recall when Mr Nasty himself George Lord was allowed to carry on as Leader when apparently there had been complaints before.
It wasn't until the possibilty of him becoming a complete embarrasment to the Party that the other members quickly offered him up.
To reply to those who support CONservative style privatisation, to save money Jobs will go, Slick Accountants will be emplyed to flirt between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion, but percentage wise will be less than those on PAYE. To make profits services will reduce, those who will suffer will be the man / woman in the street, those who will gain will be the CONservative Toffs, who don't have to use public services anyway.
We are rolling back the clocks to when there was a much wider gap in those who have lots, those who have a lot less, and those who don't have enough.
It's called CONservatism.
I really felt that Coun Prodger had a case to answer over this, but can we seriously expect the CONservatives to vote against one of their own NASTY PARTY members? I recall when Mr Nasty himself George Lord was allowed to carry on as Leader when apparently there had been complaints before. It wasn't until the possibilty of him becoming a complete embarrasment to the Party that the other members quickly offered him up. To reply to those who support CONservative style privatisation, to save money Jobs will go, Slick Accountants will be emplyed to flirt between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion, but percentage wise will be less than those on PAYE. To make profits services will reduce, those who will suffer will be the man / woman in the street, those who will gain will be the CONservative Toffs, who don't have to use public services anyway. We are rolling back the clocks to when there was a much wider gap in those who have lots, those who have a lot less, and those who don't have enough. It's called CONservatism. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

9:11am Tue 20 May 14

themooman says...

the long and short of it is .... jabbadad = tool !!!
the long and short of it is .... jabbadad = tool !!! themooman
  • Score: -2

9:34am Tue 20 May 14

MJI says...

Jabbadad wrote:
If you watched the same meetings which I have you will also witness the nasty comments coming fro the CONservatives via (still wet behind the ears) Coun Campion (who told the Labour group to shut up) and Marcus Hart who had the Audacity to Quote Winston Churchill, possibly the greatest Englishman during my lifetime, when he made comment against the Labour Group. Had I been in the Chamber CONservative coun Hart would, dispite meeting protocol, have received a very curt explanatry rebuke.
So don't just comment on the meetings go / attend the total lack of respect and democracy you could experience. Fran using a Phone is disrespect but nowhere as disrespectful as some councillors. It reminds me of why I am not a Councillor since I would have great difficulty in not handing out a thick ear now and then.
As to Derek Prodger I think he has also earned the Nick name TEFLON since he, like John Smith has made / been involved in, some monumental errors of common sense and he is still there.
You have a caps lock problem!
[quote][p][bold]Jabbadad[/bold] wrote: If you watched the same meetings which I have you will also witness the nasty comments coming fro the CONservatives via (still wet behind the ears) Coun Campion (who told the Labour group to shut up) and Marcus Hart who had the Audacity to Quote Winston Churchill, possibly the greatest Englishman during my lifetime, when he made comment against the Labour Group. Had I been in the Chamber CONservative coun Hart would, dispite meeting protocol, have received a very curt explanatry rebuke. So don't just comment on the meetings go / attend the total lack of respect and democracy you could experience. Fran using a Phone is disrespect but nowhere as disrespectful as some councillors. It reminds me of why I am not a Councillor since I would have great difficulty in not handing out a thick ear now and then. As to Derek Prodger I think he has also earned the Nick name TEFLON since he, like John Smith has made / been involved in, some monumental errors of common sense and he is still there.[/p][/quote]You have a caps lock problem! MJI
  • Score: 3

2:35pm Tue 20 May 14

themooman says...

i for one will be voting conservative
i for one will be voting conservative themooman
  • Score: -2

7:14am Thu 22 May 14

green49 says...

themooman says...

i for one will be voting conservative

You might aswell tip your tax paying money down the drain then, if you pay any of course, have you any idea at all how much this government have wasted?
themooman says... i for one will be voting conservative You might aswell tip your tax paying money down the drain then, if you pay any of course, have you any idea at all how much this government have wasted? green49
  • Score: 1

9:28am Thu 22 May 14

High Time says...

green49 wrote:
themooman says...

i for one will be voting conservative

You might aswell tip your tax paying money down the drain then, if you pay any of course, have you any idea at all how much this government have wasted?
Not as much as the last Labour Government.
[quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: themooman says... i for one will be voting conservative You might aswell tip your tax paying money down the drain then, if you pay any of course, have you any idea at all how much this government have wasted?[/p][/quote]Not as much as the last Labour Government. High Time
  • Score: 1

12:38pm Thu 22 May 14

themooman says...

High Time wrote:
green49 wrote: themooman says... i for one will be voting conservative You might aswell tip your tax paying money down the drain then, if you pay any of course, have you any idea at all how much this government have wasted?
Not as much as the last Labour Government.
many thanks high time
[quote][p][bold]High Time[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]green49[/bold] wrote: themooman says... i for one will be voting conservative You might aswell tip your tax paying money down the drain then, if you pay any of course, have you any idea at all how much this government have wasted?[/p][/quote]Not as much as the last Labour Government.[/p][/quote]many thanks high time themooman
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Thu 22 May 14

gmoore1207 says...

"You cannot get away from the fact that in the last two years the number of fires are down, even false alarms are down, so what has this got to do with prodger he has not affected any of that what a load of twadle
"You cannot get away from the fact that in the last two years the number of fires are down, even false alarms are down, so what has this got to do with prodger he has not affected any of that what a load of twadle gmoore1207
  • Score: 2

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