Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Suspended tories speak

Joint statement by Councillor David Pearson, Councillor Tom Glover OBE and Councillor Sir Ron Watson CBE

The majority of Southport Conservative Sefton Councillors have a significant disagreement with the Southport Conservative Executive, who comprise of less than 10% of the Party membership in the town, who are attempting to introduce an Agreement on a compulsory basis against the National Party guidelines which state specifically that any Agreement must be Voluntary and cannot be made Mandatory. You cannot have a Compulsory Voluntary Agreement. This has been confirmed by the Head of Local Government, the Chairman of the Conservative Councillors Association and the Conservative North West Area Chairman in writing. 

The Southport Chairman in particular has constantly threatened Conservative Councillors with amongst other things de-selection if they will not agree to the local conditions. The Chairman and the Executive including the Parliamentary Spokesperson have been offered constant consistent compromise conciliation and consensus and have responded with conflict and confrontation.

We are particularly concerned that they will not accept our recommendation whereby the local Party will welcome and accommodate people with disabilities who may wish to become Councillors and feel strongly that in this area they have lost their moral compass. 

Whilst collectively we have given on a voluntary basis tens of thousands of pounds to the Party during the course of our 130 years service between us, we believe that singling out Councillors to make additional payments from their Councillor allowances could be misunderstood by Council taxpayers who may not be happy about the compulsory use of part of their Council tax via councillors allowances being used to fund Political Parties of any description.

We have certainly agreed to continue our current support at an enhanced level but not through the mechanism which some are seeking to impose. 

We all remain totally loyal to the National Conservative Party who we have supported for the whole of our adult lives and for whom we have worked tirelessly for what we think are the best interests of the residents of Southport. We will be urging the Party nationally to instigate a full investigation.

In the intervening period because of the total lack of support from the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Sefton Conservative Group, Councillor Mrs Paula Parry and Councillor Mrs Brenda Porter we have resigned the Whip until such time as these matters are determined by the Party

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