The Visiter carries the story of David Pearson today. I must say that I must acknowledge Cllr Les Byrom has done the proper thing. I would not wish to praise him too highly as he may get into bother himself. But it would be churlish not to acknowledge that if he had still been leading the Tory party, David would still be a councilllor and they would not have squandered £650 000....
Shock as Southport Tory ex-mayor is frozen out by party
Nov 16 2007
by John Siddle, Southport Visiter
SEFTON Conservatives have controversially alienated one of their most esteemed councillors.
Former Mayor of Sefton, David Pearson, was effectively isolated from the Conservative Party following a private meeting on Monday night.
The long-standing councillor - who has served Birkdale and town centre residents within Dukes Ward for more than 16 years - has had the party whip withdrawn.
Some critics have accused the Tories of operating a bullying campaign to sideline Cllr Pearson from the party ahead of next year’s local elections.
One Conservative, who declined to be named, branded Cllr Pearson ‘a loose cannon’.
Cllr Paula Parry, the leader of the Conservatives, refused to comment as to why the highly-respected councillor has been outcast, though the Visiter understands an increasingly fraught relationship between Cllr Pearson, with Cllr Parry and deputy Cllr Brenda Porter, may have acted as a tipping point.
Lack of accessibility and a tendency not to toe the party line are also amongst a shadowy list of reasons said by some colleagues to have contributed to Cllr Pearson’s downfall.
A statement released to the Visiter yesterday lunchtime by Cllr Parry read: “After a secret ballot of Conservative councillors, work has been removed from Cllr David Pearson.
“It is important that all members have their performances reviewed and monitored to ensure the Conservative group is a successful force in the borough.”
Councillors cross-party have rallied in support of the Hillside resident, who served as Mayor of Sefton, with wife Barbara as Mayoress, during 2003/2004.
Many Tory councillors refused to make formal comments, though fellow Dukes Ward councillor, Les Byrom, said: “Cllr Pearson has, and can be assured of, my full support.”
Birkdale Ward Lib Dem councillor Iain Brodie-Brown, said: “I am gobsmacked. I would say a large quantity of what has happened can be put down to poor leadership.”
Long-serving Norwood Ward Liberal Democrat councillor, Brian Rimmer, added: “It came as an extreme surprise to me. I consider him to be the best, most hard-working councillor they have got. It’s difficult to figure it out. Then again, it is difficult to find logic in some of the Conservatives’ shenanigans.”
Cllr Pearson, who was first elected in May 1991, will continue to represent his constituents.
He will however lose his place on Sefton Council committees and will not carry a vote on party matters.
AS the Southport Visiter went to press late yesterday, Sefton Conservative Group leader, Cllr Paula Parry released a second statement.
She said: “Cllr David Pearson was suspended by the Conservative Group at a meeting on Monday, November 12.
“This was a group decision taken by private ballot and he will therefore not be seeking re-election in next year’s May elections.
“The Conservative Group wish David a long and healthy retirement and thank him for his many years of service to the residents of Southport.”