Sunday, 12 August 2012

In Two Local By-Elections Only the Conservative Candidates Live in the Communities they will Represent

Local Team: Jackie Brockway and Giles McNeill are the
only candidates in the two by-elections to live in the area
they will represent.
Local residents are surprised to learn that only the Conservative Party is fielding local candidates in two contests called following the sad and untimely death of Cllr. Ray Sellars who represented the Nettleham and Saxilby Division of Lincolnshire County Council and Nettleham Ward on West Lindsey District Council. 

For the county council seat, Jackie Brockway (Conservative), lives over the road from the doctors’ surgery in Saxilby. Of the other candidates in the county contest three are from the City of Lincoln, Richard Coupland (Labour) lives on the Ermine West Estate, Charles Shaw (Liberal Democrat) resides off Carholme Road and David Watson (Lincolnshire Independent) is based off Skellingthorpe Road. Howard Thompson (UK Independence Party) lives twenty-five miles away from the Conservative Candidate in Claxby, between Market Rasen and Caistor. Finally the furthest flung candidate, Elliott Fountain (English Democrat), is based forty miles away from County Hall in Boston.

However, it is not just in the county council seat contest where the Conservatives have fielded the only local candidate, in the contest for the district council seat too, for the Nettleham Ward, Giles McNeill (Conservative), went to primary school in the village, has grown up in Nettleham and lived in the village behind the Infants' School for more than two decades. Guy Grainger (Liberal Democrat) is from Market Rasen and Howard Thompson (UK Independence Party), previously mentioned, from even further away, will contest this seat as well.

The Liberal Democrats have a consistently highlighted the view that elected councillors should live in the local communities they seek to represent. In 2011 they made it clear that, because one of the four candidates lived in Market Rasen, voters should vote for local candidates:
"You can’t do better than to vote for two Councillors who have an excellent record of hard work for the village and who both actually live in Nettleham".
Now they have the audacity to put forward an individual who is from Market Rasen!

If a candidate from Market Rasen, in their view, by virtue of where they live, was not suitable last year, why would one be suitable now? It seems to be nothing short of hypocrisy.

One Nettleham villager commented:
"I can not believe that someone from outside the village would make a good representative for us. Especially if they live as far away as Market Rasen, or beyond."
There has also been concern that Mr. Grainger, a former Market Rasen Town Councillor, was censured in 2010 by the Standards Committee at West Lindsey District Council. The Decision Notice read that:
"[Mr. Grainger] failed to declare a personal and prejudicial interest when considering the Town Council’s response to the former Town Clerk’s claim to an Employment Tribunal… The sanction imposed for this breach is that Councillor Grainger be censured."
Hopefully the residents of Nettleham, Grange-de-Lings, Riseholme and Greetwell will vote wisely on Thursday, 6th September 2012.

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