Polegate councillor O’Riordan re-elected

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A Polegate councillor who resigned from the town council after claiming he was ‘fed up’ with infighting by members has been re-elected.

Cllr Joe O’Riordan was elected to serve Polegate North ward as an independent on Friday (September 27). He originally joined the council as a Polegate Residents’ Association member two years ago. He stood down from the council in July this year after claiming it had become disjointed.

Cllr O’Riordan said he was thrilled to be elected and had always intended to stand again in May 2015. He said he assumed the town council would fill the vacancy by co-option allowing him to stand again in 2015. But an election was called by residents and so he decided to stand again as an independent earlier than intended.

He said: “The circumstances of my resignation were that I was not happy with the direction the Polegate Residents Association (PRA) was going. My principles told me that I had to resign and stand again as an Independent councillor giving the residents the opportunity to make their own decisions in relation to my reasons for resigning, although as explained I did not intend to do so until 2015.

“Whether I stood or not as the election had been called in no way can I be held responsible for the expenditure, indeed had I not stood the election would have proceeded.

“It is my opinion that Polegate town Councillors do not work as a team, they follow national party lines. I would hope the residents having supported me in this election will indicate to the major party councillors that our residents want councillors to concentrate on local issues and base their decisions on what is good for our town and its inhabitants.”