Monday, 25 June 2012

Press Hostility Forces Councillor's Resignation

Lincolnshire County Councillor, Rev. Sara Cliff, Conservative (Lincoln East Division), has resigned as a member of the county council following 'unwarranted hostility in the press'.

Rev. Cliff was born in Manchester and had been resident in Lincoln for four years, when she was elected in 2009. She was a Governor of Waddington Redwood School. Rev. Cliff left teaching in 2001 when she held the position of Head of Year, as a science teacher, with responsibility for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. Her work as a Methodist Minister reflected her lifetime involvement of working with the voluntary and community sectors.

Rev. Cliff's attendance had been a cause for concern and the Daily Mail reported that a Lincolnshire County Council spokesman had confirmed her poor attendance as having been flagged up to the Conservative Party by authority clerks. She is the only county councillor to have this happen in the three years of this council.

Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr. Martin Hill, Conservative (Folkingham Rural Division) admitted he had spoken to Rev.Cliff about her attendance levels six months ago, the paper reported.
"There is no doubt her attendance of late has not been good at all."
In a statement to the Lincolnshire Echo, Rev. Cliff said:
"I have taken the decision to resign my position from the county council.
"While I did feel willing and able to carry on representing the people of Lincoln East, in view of the unwarranted hostility in the press, I am clear that this action is in the best interests of the Methodist church, the county council and my own family.
Following criticism from local residents, and in the press, that the outgoing councillor had not allocated her 'Big Society Fund', Rev. Cliff clarified that:
"As a matter of record I have awarded my Big Society Fund to St Barnabas to help support the excellent services they provide."

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