The leader of the main opposition on West Norfolk Council has resigned after accusing officials of colluding with the authority’s rulers.
Jim Moriarty, who heads the Labour group on the council, announced his decision at the weekend and called for the authority’s leader, Nick Daubney, to go as well.
Mr Moriarty, who represents the Priory ward, claims a report into the setting up of a working group to examine alternative waste management ideas was altered by officers, following an intervention by Mr Daubney, in a bid to exclude him from membership.
“They are supposed to be impartial and, as I no longer believe they operate in an even-handed fashion when it comes to me, I can no longer operate effectively as the leader of the opposition”, he said.
“It may be a new leader will be able to establish a better relationship.”
He is also unhappy that a complaint alleging council premises had been used for a Conservative party meeting was not investigated.
But Mr Daubney yesterday insisted he had done nothing wrong and suggested Mr Moriarty should have taken his concerns through the authority’s complaints procedures.
He said: “He’s trying to undermine people’s credibility and it’s not a conversation I want to engage in.”
The row stems from a plan to establish a working party to examine a possible alternative for the disposal of black bin waste if the contract’s agreement with Material Works to build a recycling centre for the production of a material known as omnicite, which is due to come into force next April, does not proceed.
Mr Daubney admitted that the scheme has not progressed as far as the authority would like, but insisted he was not embarrassed by that.
He maintained that the authority should continue to examine “innovative” ways to deal with the area’s waste.
Mr Moriarty’s resignation will take effect at the end of this month. It is expected that a new leader for the group, which has 12 members, will have been elected by then.