Derek Prodger facing no confidence motion

Councillor Derek Prodger, chairman of the fire authority

Councillor Derek Prodger, chairman of the fire authority

First published in News Bromsgrove Advertiser: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

THE chairman of the fire authority is facing a motion of no confidence at the next meeting of Worcestershire County Council, it has emerged.

Councillor Derek Prodger is battling for his career after County Hall's Labour group revealed it will ask all 56 politicians to vote, calling Mark Yates' back saga a "fiasco" which has "brought the fire authority into disrepute".

It comes as Cllr Prodger broke his silence over calls for him to resign, telling your Worcester News he has "done nothing untoward" and wants to carry on.

The motion will call for someone else to take charge as chairman, saying the fire service needs a "fresh start".

Councillor Peter McDonald, Labour group leader, said: "This whole thing has been a total fiasco, it's embarrassed everyone involved in politics and brought the fire service into disrepute.

"Mark Yates has done the right thing in paying it back and the chairman now needs to do the right thing himself.

"The motion is one of no confidence, we will be asking him to resign and he can spare himself the embarrassment of going through the vote by quitting before the meeting.

"Everything which has come out into the public domain since yesterday shows Derek Prodger's position is untenable, the fire service needs a fresh start."

Labour say the motion is not "about politics", saying they would be content for another Conservative chairman to take over.

Several councillors told us they were undecided about it yesterday, but Matthew Jenkins, from the Green Party, said he was likely to back it.

Cllr Prodger yesterday told us he will not quit, and said he was "hurt" by the whole saga.

"If Mark Yates went down the NHS route we'd have to have paid other staff more money, that's the basis upon which I voted for it," he said.

"It wasn't just me, there were three of us involved. I dealt with it the best I could , it was a genuine decision, I thought I did the right thing and I still do.

"I am prepared to carry on as chairman, I've done nothing untoward - no rules or laws were broken."

Mr Yates, the chief fire officer, had private back surgery costing £5,090 back in October after deciding he was in too much pain to wait around 8-10 weeks on the NHS.

He then claimed it on expenses, and 20 days after the operation was handed a contribution of £3,000 after four fire authority councillors, including Cllr Prodger as chairman, had a vote.

If he waited on an NHS list and had time off work the service estimated it could have cost up to £8,500 in payments to other staff, but by the time of the vote he'd already had the surgery.

Mr Yates, who is paid £122,000, has now paid the money back, saying he felt it disappointed staff, the public and was detracting from the fire service.

The next full meeting of Worcestershire County Council is Thursday, May 15.

Comments (15)

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3:45pm Fri 4 Apr 14

brooksider says...

Out of touch or what?
Why can't Derek Prodger grasp his decision actually cost the local taxpayer more than voting to reject the application for payment?
Out of touch or what? Why can't Derek Prodger grasp his decision actually cost the local taxpayer more than voting to reject the application for payment? brooksider
  • Score: 22

5:34pm Fri 4 Apr 14

CJH says...

brooksider wrote:
Out of touch or what?
Why can't Derek Prodger grasp his decision actually cost the local taxpayer more than voting to reject the application for payment?
Because he's been in denial for years about all his decisions.
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: Out of touch or what? Why can't Derek Prodger grasp his decision actually cost the local taxpayer more than voting to reject the application for payment?[/p][/quote]Because he's been in denial for years about all his decisions. CJH
  • Score: 16

10:51pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Lew Smoralz says...

It will be interesting to see if Proger the Bodger can turn himself into Prodger the Dodger and get away with this latest foul-up.

It's a shame that teflon doesn't rhyme with Proger, because his teflon shoulders have allowed him to get away with so much during his expensive time on the council.

If he survives this then I give up on the whole lot of them. Is there any sense of decency left in Worcester politics?
It will be interesting to see if Proger the Bodger can turn himself into Prodger the Dodger and get away with this latest foul-up. It's a shame that teflon doesn't rhyme with Proger, because his teflon shoulders have allowed him to get away with so much during his expensive time on the council. If he survives this then I give up on the whole lot of them. Is there any sense of decency left in Worcester politics? Lew Smoralz
  • Score: 16

11:51am Sat 5 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

Well not being a betting man and looking at the political control of the County Council, I would say that he won't lose.
It would be most interesting if there were to be a named vote, then we will see the honesty versus party politics among the Councillors we have.
Well not being a betting man and looking at the political control of the County Council, I would say that he won't lose. It would be most interesting if there were to be a named vote, then we will see the honesty versus party politics among the Councillors we have. Jabbadad
  • Score: 3

2:25pm Sat 5 Apr 14

vertis43ad says...

During Mr Prodger's "extremely" long career as a local councillor I believe I have meet him at only two prearranged meetings? On the first occasion it was together with Peter Luff .during which he said precisely "nothing". So no comment.No judgement? As a result what happened at the second meeting on a different subject and this time with a long retired chief environmental officer. came as a shock and a revelation ,During the discussion I had the temerity to question Mr Prodger's judgement in the matter. Oh dear then I got it, both barrels Cutting his aggressive diatribe short the gist of it was "Who was I a mere citizen to query any decision he had come to regarding council business."(not verbatim) Was it JUST ME?Regards a Conservative voter.
During Mr Prodger's "extremely" long career as a local councillor I believe I have meet him at only two prearranged meetings? On the first occasion it was together with Peter Luff .during which he said precisely "nothing". So no comment.No judgement? As a result what happened at the second meeting on a different subject and this time with a long retired chief environmental officer. came as a shock and a revelation ,During the discussion I had the temerity to question Mr Prodger's judgement in the matter. Oh dear then I got it, both barrels Cutting his aggressive diatribe short the gist of it was "Who was I a mere citizen to query any decision he had come to regarding council business."(not verbatim) Was it JUST ME?Regards a Conservative voter. vertis43ad
  • Score: 4

2:47pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

Well vertis43ad. i have over the years been at many meetings and in the company of many politicians and sadly they are all similar. As you say mainly rude, totally in thier own political world, and rarely give a satisfactory / straight answer to a question. But as you, I also vote but not CON-servative with their views & actions about, and on, our disabled & vulnerable elderly. Since thay are taking so many services away from these people, they really don't deserve our support.
Well vertis43ad. i have over the years been at many meetings and in the company of many politicians and sadly they are all similar. As you say mainly rude, totally in thier own political world, and rarely give a satisfactory / straight answer to a question. But as you, I also vote but not CON-servative with their views & actions about, and on, our disabled & vulnerable elderly. Since thay are taking so many services away from these people, they really don't deserve our support. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Sat 5 Apr 14

alanquattro says...

The whole story stinks and needs rigorous examination from beginning to end. How long, if at all, had he already been off work. Why would it cost so much extra to deputise his duties. Who asked/suggested the public might pay for this. Who in the NHS said it would be X weeks before he could have an op. etc. etc.The witnesses involved should be asked for their account and be required to evidence their responses.
The whole story stinks and needs rigorous examination from beginning to end. How long, if at all, had he already been off work. Why would it cost so much extra to deputise his duties. Who asked/suggested the public might pay for this. Who in the NHS said it would be X weeks before he could have an op. etc. etc.The witnesses involved should be asked for their account and be required to evidence their responses. alanquattro
  • Score: 2

8:43pm Sat 5 Apr 14

agedbutwithit says...

anything with this gentlemans name on it usually ends in disaster .. He may have his heart in the right place but he,s a Jonah in whatever capacity he s working in .. The whole thing was a underhanded undemocratic fiasco from start to finish .. Come on Derek time to hang up your council hat ,grab your pension and retire gracefully
anything with this gentlemans name on it usually ends in disaster .. He may have his heart in the right place but he,s a Jonah in whatever capacity he s working in .. The whole thing was a underhanded undemocratic fiasco from start to finish .. Come on Derek time to hang up your council hat ,grab your pension and retire gracefully agedbutwithit
  • Score: 7

9:01pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Keith B says...

While in my view, Prodger is one of the worst Councillors around, he keeps getting voted in.

The Party machines work very hard to keep such people in office and it is they who are to blame. There really are some very good Councillors around - but I'm afraid Prodger is just part of the Party band of brothers who will continue to look after each other - in the same way Labour does in their safe areas.

It's called Democracy - and until we start moving against such people of both right and left, on a really personalised basis rather than a Party basis, we are not going to remove them.
While in my view, Prodger is one of the worst Councillors around, he keeps getting voted in. The Party machines work very hard to keep such people in office and it is they who are to blame. There really are some very good Councillors around - but I'm afraid Prodger is just part of the Party band of brothers who will continue to look after each other - in the same way Labour does in their safe areas. It's called Democracy - and until we start moving against such people of both right and left, on a really personalised basis rather than a Party basis, we are not going to remove them. Keith B
  • Score: 8

10:28pm Sun 6 Apr 14

dontburnourfuture says...

Spot on Keith B.
Sadly there are many Prodgers in this and many other councils. Safe seats aren't good for anyone.

Paying £3 grand to an individual when the Fire service is in dire straits and council cuts of £120 million hang over public services, well you would expect nothing less from this out of touch, ruling party, would you?

On a tenuously related note, the council had a chance to save between £12 to £20 Million per annum on their ridiculously expensive waste contract ( £38 M per annum ) but with the full support of Cllr MacDonald leader of the Labour opposition and his party (except Cllr Denham who left suddenly!!!) They whole heartedly supported the Tories (Vote Labour get Tory) to fund the proposed incinerator at the January meeting. This means increasing waste costs by another £6 million per annum. This was after the Labour group protested all morning about cuts. Pot kettle and Black comes to mind. Time for a change all round!
Spot on Keith B. Sadly there are many Prodgers in this and many other councils. Safe seats aren't good for anyone. Paying £3 grand to an individual when the Fire service is in dire straits and council cuts of £120 million hang over public services, well you would expect nothing less from this out of touch, ruling party, would you? On a tenuously related note, the council had a chance to save between £12 to £20 Million per annum on their ridiculously expensive waste contract ( £38 M per annum ) but with the full support of Cllr MacDonald leader of the Labour opposition and his party (except Cllr Denham who left suddenly!!!) They whole heartedly supported the Tories (Vote Labour get Tory) to fund the proposed incinerator at the January meeting. This means increasing waste costs by another £6 million per annum. This was after the Labour group protested all morning about cuts. Pot kettle and Black comes to mind. Time for a change all round! dontburnourfuture
  • Score: 0

11:06pm Sun 6 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

I expect this situation of funding this £3,000 towards private health treatment for someone on £122,000 per year and who has neither admitted or denied having private health insurance, will be discussed BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in
CON-servative privacy.
I expect this situation of funding this £3,000 towards private health treatment for someone on £122,000 per year and who has neither admitted or denied having private health insurance, will be discussed BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in CON-servative privacy. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

9:05am Mon 7 Apr 14

green49 says...

Well Prodger has a history of bodge ups, no comments when i have asked him about stuff over the years, its look after your mates time again, as usual a CONservative wont go unless pushed and Prodger has been in this sort of position before but is still here, if he has any smack of respect for the voters ( which he is an arrogant *******) then he should resign aswell as the others involved in this, TAXPAYERS money again??????
Maybe its time to look back and see where over the years his involvement has cost the taxpayer more than we think?
Well Prodger has a history of bodge ups, no comments when i have asked him about stuff over the years, its look after your mates time again, as usual a CONservative wont go unless pushed and Prodger has been in this sort of position before but is still here, if he has any smack of respect for the voters ( which he is an arrogant *******) then he should resign aswell as the others involved in this, TAXPAYERS money again?????? Maybe its time to look back and see where over the years his involvement has cost the taxpayer more than we think? green49
  • Score: 4

10:07am Mon 7 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

I feel that situations like these just show a total disrespect for all members of the public. And having attended many meetings with these politicians (with a little p) I have witnessed this first hand, and was why I commented about George Lord.
It's quite amazing not only have we experienced local members using their Smart phones during meetings we see regularly in Parliament the same disrespect for Parliament itself.
I feel that we need to go back to the drawing board for protocal, and locally require the councillors to take the oath of public allegience as they do in Warwickshire.
I feel that situations like these just show a total disrespect for all members of the public. And having attended many meetings with these politicians (with a little p) I have witnessed this first hand, and was why I commented about George Lord. It's quite amazing not only have we experienced local members using their Smart phones during meetings we see regularly in Parliament the same disrespect for Parliament itself. I feel that we need to go back to the drawing board for protocal, and locally require the councillors to take the oath of public allegience as they do in Warwickshire. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

1:56pm Tue 8 Apr 14

green49 says...

I saw the proposed cuts meeting online and it was a joke, run by a chairman that couldnt wait to spout the tory line, he was chairman and not there to make personal comments to other councillors either when they asked a perfectly good question, he was there to control the meeting, arrogant *******
I saw the proposed cuts meeting online and it was a joke, run by a chairman that couldnt wait to spout the tory line, he was chairman and not there to make personal comments to other councillors either when they asked a perfectly good question, he was there to control the meeting, arrogant ******* green49
  • Score: 3

1:57pm Tue 8 Apr 14

green49 says...

To add to the above, these people are there to represent the taxpayer, they need to remember that.
To add to the above, these people are there to represent the taxpayer, they need to remember that. green49
  • Score: 3

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