Friday, 15 January 2010

Bernard Theobald Stands Down From Inter-Council Planning Body

Former Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Cllr. Bernard Theobald, Independent (Wold View Ward) has resigned as Chairman of an influential inter-authority planning committee before councillors could vote on whether to keep him.

The Lincolnshire Echo is reporting that Cllr. Theobald announced yesterday he would be stepping down as Chairman of the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee - which brings together four councils with the aim of getting better planning decisions outcomes within the region - following calls for his resignation. Cllr. Theobald was expected to lose the position after a motion was tabled that he should resign by the Leader of City of Lincoln Council, Cllr. Darren Grice, Conservative (Bracebridge Ward) and Leader of North Kesteven District Council. Cllr. Mrs. Marion Brighton OBEConservative (Heighington and Washingborough Ward).

Cllr. Theobald announced his decision to leave the post voluntarily as the committee met in Sleaford. He was asked to resign as Leader of the Council by his deputy Cllr. Adam Duguid, Conservative (Market Rasen Ward), and has been suspended by the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association for six months as a neutral act. Cllr. Theobald blames the Lincolnshire Echo investigation in to matters related to planning at the council for being forced to resign and is understood to be seeking redress.

Cllr. Grice, who chaired the committee meeting in Cllr Theobald's place, told members:
"We are innocent until proven guilty. I will be having a discussion with Councillor Theobald after the meeting and the invitation will always be there once Cllr Theobald has ridden through the difficulties facing him.

"This is not a judgement on Cllr Theobald. It's about driving forward the very important work of this committee as it is bigger than one individual."
Cllr. Grice said this included all committee members and not just Cllr Theobald.
"I fully support him in his campaign against the Echo."

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