A ROW over who should lead a police scrutiny meeting prompts members to abandon it.

Councillors and independent members across the Thames Valley convened to hear police and crime commissioner Matthew Barber’s annual report at a Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel on Friday, June 24.

But before hearing the report, they had to elect a chairman and vice-chairman for the municipal year as it was the first meeting following May’s elections.

The Conservatives nominated Milton Keynes councillor Keith McLean and the opposition nominated Lib Dem councillor Robin Bradburn, who is deputy leader of Milton Keynes Council.

Each candidate received eight votes, making the motions fall. Attempts to vote for a temporary chairman for the meeting were also refused.

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The Tories argued they have the most members (nine), whereas the Lib Dems have four, Labour four, and the Greens one. The panel also has two Independents who are not councillors but can vote.

Cllr Bradburn said: “The largest group on the panel has no bearing on who becomes chair. It’s the vote of the panel that decides who becomes chair.

“We had a tied vote, and we can go round and round in circles. We have an opportunity today to have a change of regime with a different chair and vice-chair as lots of different authorities across the county, the opposition or other parties do the scrutiny of the administration.

“I think it’s a good practice and it’s something we’ve not been able to do on this panel. We’ve had an opportunity to do that and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that.”

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The meeting was held in Aylesbury and ended about half an hour into discussions.

Afterwards, Cllr Neil Fawcett, who represents the Lib Dems on Vale of White Horse District Council in Oxfordshire, tweeted it was “disgraceful” the Conservatives “prefer not to hold the Thames Valley PCC to account than compromise”.