Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond sacks six cabinet members

Image caption Hartlepool mayor Stuart Drummond "had no choice"

The mayor of Hartlepool, Stuart Drummond, has sacked six Labour cabinet members after they failed to attend a full council meeting.

The six, including the deputy mayor, were relieved of their roles earlier after not attending Thursday's meeting on budget proposals for 2012-13.

One of the six, Chris Simmons, cabinet member for children's services, said he was "sad to relinquish his role".

The mayor said he "had no choice" in the matter.

The others to have been relieved of their positions included Robbie Payne - deputy mayor and executive member for finance and procurement and Peter Jackson - executive member for regeneration and economic development and skills.

Pamela Hargreaves - executive member for transport and neighbourhoods, Ged Hall - executive member for adult and public health services, and Jonathan Brash - executive member for housing and transition, were also removed.

Mr Drummond told BBC Tees: "I didn't really have much choice.

"The six of them didn't show up at the meeting to support the cabinet and the budget proposals. As a result the proposals the cabinet were proposing didn't go through.

"Therefore, me and the remainder of the cabinet have to work next year with a budget that was not of our proposition."

He said the vacant positions would not be filled before the election in May and that he would share the roles between himself and two other cabinet members.

According to Mr Drummond, some councillors abstained at a meeting, held earlier in February, when the budget proposals went to full council.

The other councillors could not be reached for comment.

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