War of words over vacant Appleton Parish Council seat

Nick Bent

Clr Judith Walker

Clr Paul Kennedy

First published in News

A WAR of words has erupted between Liberal Democrats and Labour over a vacant seat on Appleton Parish Council.

Labour’s Nick Bent accused the Lib Dems of a stitch up with the Conservatives over plans to co-opt a new councillor.

But the Lib Dems hit back saying it was ‘simply untrue’ and that they were ‘disgusted’ by the claim.

Mr Bent, Labour candidate for Warrington South in next year’s General Election, said the plan was to co-opt Conservative Jonathan Levy to the vacant seat, calling it an ‘abuse of power’ by the Lib Dems.

He added: "In the middle of a serious cost of living crisis for many families on the Cobbs estate, Labour is not prepared to let another grubby deal between the Tories and Lib Dems go unchallenged."

But Appleton Clr Judith Walker said the claim had ‘no truth whatsoever’.

She added: “Labour indicated that if we did not co-opt their candidate, they would call a by-election.

“We told them we could not say who the parish council would choose if there was to be a co-option.

“The idea that such things are ‘stitched up’ between political parties is typical Labour.

“They just can’t comprehend the idea of councillors taking a decision that is not politically whipped - even on a parish council.”

Conservative leader Clr Paul Kennedy said he was not aware of any deal being made.

He added: “People are claiming some kind of stich up but I have never spoken to the Liberal Democrats about this.”

He said the cost of the election is likely to top £5,000 with the parish council footing the bill.

Nominations for the seat close on February 14 with the vote in March.

Comments (4)

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5:16pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Freeborn John says...

"He said the cost of the election is likely to top £5,000 with the parish council footing the bill."
Really? The parish council foot the bill? And where are those quarrelsome, hobby politicians going to get the cash to fund their latest antics?
Not out of their own pockets, that's for sure.
"He said the cost of the election is likely to top £5,000 with the parish council footing the bill." Really? The parish council foot the bill? And where are those quarrelsome, hobby politicians going to get the cash to fund their latest antics? Not out of their own pockets, that's for sure. Freeborn John
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Reader says...

Yes Parish Council's do have to foot the bill for their own by-elections. WBC changed the ruled of who paid in 2012.

The money comes out of the parish councils own pot of money which they receive by way of a precept from the council tax etc.
They could of course spend the money on other things in the parish if they wanted to but where an empty seat is contested by more than one person an election then HAS to take place and co-option cannot take place. It's the law.
Yes Parish Council's do have to foot the bill for their own by-elections. WBC changed the ruled of who paid in 2012. The money comes out of the parish councils own pot of money which they receive by way of a precept from the council tax etc. They could of course spend the money on other things in the parish if they wanted to but where an empty seat is contested by more than one person an election then HAS to take place and co-option cannot take place. It's the law. Reader
  • Score: 0

7:10am Thu 30 Jan 14

Nick Tessla says...

I'm confused is Gob-person Bent saying that Labour aren't going to put up a candidate? Is he just upset because he wanted his man co-opted?

Still wondering if this failed MP candidate is going to have the b**** to finally stand for the borough in May, rather than snipe from the side-lines until the next general election sweeps him off to Westminster (he hopes)
I'm confused is Gob-person Bent saying that Labour aren't going to put up a candidate? Is he just upset because he wanted his man co-opted? Still wondering if this failed MP candidate is going to have the b**** to finally stand for the borough in May, rather than snipe from the side-lines until the next general election sweeps him off to Westminster (he hopes) Nick Tessla
  • Score: 1

3:30pm Thu 6 Feb 14

ChristoB says...

This Bent character is clearly that in other ways than just name. Hopefully the public will have the strength of character to see through his deviousness and will remember it when they go to the polls. To try to gain political advantage by telling lies and mistruths is just about as low as one can stoop - but typical of a Labour politician.
This Bent character is clearly that in other ways than just name. Hopefully the public will have the strength of character to see through his deviousness and will remember it when they go to the polls. To try to gain political advantage by telling lies and mistruths is just about as low as one can stoop - but typical of a Labour politician. ChristoB
  • Score: 1

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