Last week I was one of the few Conservative Councillors who voted in favour of ex councillor Adrian Fudge being made an Alderman of the town. For me the situation is very simple. While I may have disagreed fundamentally with Adrian over his policies and more particularly over those issues effecting the ward for which we were both councillors, Littledown and Iford, I could not fault his commitment to the role of councillor either in terms of time or energy. I believe it’s necessary to divide the personal from the political and that is why I voted the way I did and will do so again if the matter comes before the Council.
While I was disappointed that a majority of my colleagues did not see the situation in the same way, I was more disappointed by the fact that opposition members chose to boycott the subsequent Council meeting after the vote had been taken. We are all elected to represent the residents of our wards. They expect us to carry out the role to which they elected us and for which we are paid. What more fundamental duty is there than to attend a meeting of the full Council? The vote was, after all, democratic. I may not have liked the result any more than my Lib Dem and Independent colleagues, however by choosing to leave the chamber they left their electorates disenfranchised and failed fundamentally in their duty to the people who elected them.
There are far more important issues facing the town than whether an ex councillor is made an Alderman. We politicians are left in a poor light by the affair and I would urge my colleagues of all parties to draw a line under it and move on to concentrate on the important issues they were elected to address.