Ten Conservative councillors in the East Riding are deselected

November 25, 2010 11:05 AM

The old adage you reap what you sow is as true today as when it was first coined. When our elected representatives fail to submit themselves to the wishes of those who elect them, there are consequences; and those consequences can be severe.


In March, I received a phone call from Alexandra Wood, a reporter from the Yorkshire Post. She told me the East Riding of Yorkshire Council were about to pay £364,205 into the pension pot of Sue Lockwood, the Corporate Resources Director. She wanted to take early retirement, and this discretionary payment was going to be made to enhance her pension.
HullEastRiding TPA (1)


At a time when we are being told to tighten our belts and when community groups are being told there isn't any money to help them, the council's leadership thought it was fitting to spend our money to enhance the pension of one member of staff!


I organised a protest outside County Hall in Beverley at the beginning of May, and held another protest in June. The response from the public was fantastic. I received many emails urging me on in the campaign, and the story ran for weeks in the Yorkshire Post, the Hull Daily Mail and on the BBC. Unfortunately, despite the many requests for councillors to see reason, this payment was made. The Conservative leader of the council, Stephen Parnaby, and the cabinet thought this was the end of the story. It wasn't, and what they didn't realise was the level of anger inside their own party.


Under new rules, Conservative Party candidates have to be approved by a regional panel. Those councillors who sit in safe seats, thinking they are in a job for life, are being judged on results. All ten cabinet members were called for interviews and asked to justify their decisions. Many have been found wanting, and a total of ten councillors have been removed from the party's list of approved candidates. They include the leader, deputy leader, group secretary and chief whip.


These councillors are allowed to appeal against this decision. They have 28 days, although I think it is unlikely any appeals will be successful. They have crossed the line. I haven't met anyone - apart from them - who think the discretionary payment was justified. People power has won. Those who have tried to defend the indefensible have found themselves out in the cold.


It is now obvious there is a lame-duck leadership in charge of the East Riding. The people want strong leadership, acting in their best interests. Nothing will change until the new year, and we will then have to see who rises to the top and becomes the new leader of the council. Rest assured we in the TPA will hold them to account until the local elections in May and beyond.


This proves our local campaigns work. They provide a channel for the silent majority to express their views. I hope this story encourages you to campaign in your locality. Together we can win the war against waste, and prove that low taxes benefit us all.

The old adage you reap what you sow is as true today as when it was first coined. When our elected representatives fail to submit themselves to the wishes of those who elect them, there are consequences; and those consequences can be severe.


In March, I received a phone call from Alexandra Wood, a reporter from the Yorkshire Post. She told me the East Riding of Yorkshire Council were about to pay £364,205 into the pension pot of Sue Lockwood, the Corporate Resources Director. She wanted to take early retirement, and this discretionary payment was going to be made to enhance her pension.
HullEastRiding TPA (1)


At a time when we are being told to tighten our belts and when community groups are being told there isn't any money to help them, the council's leadership thought it was fitting to spend our money to enhance the pension of one member of staff!


I organised a protest outside County Hall in Beverley at the beginning of May, and held another protest in June. The response from the public was fantastic. I received many emails urging me on in the campaign, and the story ran for weeks in the Yorkshire Post, the Hull Daily Mail and on the BBC. Unfortunately, despite the many requests for councillors to see reason, this payment was made. The Conservative leader of the council, Stephen Parnaby, and the cabinet thought this was the end of the story. It wasn't, and what they didn't realise was the level of anger inside their own party.


Under new rules, Conservative Party candidates have to be approved by a regional panel. Those councillors who sit in safe seats, thinking they are in a job for life, are being judged on results. All ten cabinet members were called for interviews and asked to justify their decisions. Many have been found wanting, and a total of ten councillors have been removed from the party's list of approved candidates. They include the leader, deputy leader, group secretary and chief whip.


These councillors are allowed to appeal against this decision. They have 28 days, although I think it is unlikely any appeals will be successful. They have crossed the line. I haven't met anyone - apart from them - who think the discretionary payment was justified. People power has won. Those who have tried to defend the indefensible have found themselves out in the cold.


It is now obvious there is a lame-duck leadership in charge of the East Riding. The people want strong leadership, acting in their best interests. Nothing will change until the new year, and we will then have to see who rises to the top and becomes the new leader of the council. Rest assured we in the TPA will hold them to account until the local elections in May and beyond.


This proves our local campaigns work. They provide a channel for the silent majority to express their views. I hope this story encourages you to campaign in your locality. Together we can win the war against waste, and prove that low taxes benefit us all.

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