On Monday 20th September 2021 Leader of Walsall Labour Group Cllr Aftab Nawaz will formally move the nomination of Cllr Sean Coughlan (Willenhall South) for the vacant position of Deputy Mayor of #Walsall following the sad passing of Cllr Harbans Sarohi.
It is the intention of the Walsall Council Leader and Leader of the Walsall Conservatives Cllr Mike Bird to vote against the nomination of Cllr Sean Coughlan for the position of Deputy Mayor. As many people will know Cllr Sean Coughlan took a period of extended leave from the Council due to diagnosed mental health issues which he has talked about publicly. With treatment and counselling, he has since returned to his duties as a ward councillor for Willenhall South and won re-election recently in May 2021.
Cllr Bird’s comments regarding Cllr Sean Coughlan’s “alleged” mental health issues is not only offensive to Cllr Coughlan and his family, but also to anyone who has suffered a mental health issue or is currently suffering from mental health issues. Cllr Bird and the Walsall Conservatives are also going against the long-held convention of seniority when nominating for the positions of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Cllr Sean Coughlan when Leader of Walsall Council in 2018 supported the nomination of Cllr Marco Longhi without opposition from the Walsall Labour Group despite political differences.
It is extremely disappointing that Cllr Bird and the Walsall Conservative Group seem willing to play politics with such an important issue as mental health and resort to personal attacks on Cllr Sean Coughlan. We hope that Cllr Bird and the Walsall Conservatives will reconsider their position and uphold the tradition of seniority and rightfully respect issues of mental health that could affect all of us.
Monday’s full meeting of Walsall Council can be viewed via the YouTube link below: