Political point scoring at Polegate council

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Once again I find myself forced to reply to the spurious letter from Cllr M Clewett (18th October) if only to set the record straight.

I stand by my press statement, the Polegate Residents’ Association (PRA) believe my comments to be a slur, I believe them to be constructive criticism. The failure of Polegate Town Council (PTC) to work as a team is not my opinion alone; it has been expressed by several sitting councillors, the difference being that I am known for voicing my opinion as opposed to muttering in the background. It is entirely untrue to imply, as Cllr Clewett does, that I aired my opinions in public without discussing them with the PRA committee; I did exactly that for the best part of two years. My disatisfaction was made clear on many occasions, indeed as a direct result of my frustration I resigned from the PRA committee some months before I considered resigning from the association itself. I had hoped that my resignation from the committee may have helped them to correct some of the matters that clearly required attention. One being that they had not produced any form of a news-sheet for their supporters from the time of their election in May 2011, unlike any other party or Independent sitting on Polegate Town Council (PTC). I happen to believe it is essential that you keep your supporters well informed as to what you are doing on their behalf if you expect their continued support in future elections, as opposed to knocking on their door once every four years seeking their vote. I was not so much “fed up” with the PTC, more with a minority of those involved. I derive great enjoyment from my work as a councillor, in working within the community and assisting where I can.

Which conveniently brings me to my final point, the cost of the election and who was involved in its being called? Those following this matter will remember my stating, following my resignation, that I intended to wait until the scheduled elections in May 2015 to stand again based on the assumption that PTC would co-opt until that time. That was not to be, a group of residents, as is their legal right, called for an election. I have a copy of the form. Surprise, surprise my name is not on it, there are however the names of sitting PTC councillors and members/supporters of other mainstream political parties/groups who have signed it. None of them have had the courage to stand up and say we were responsible for the expenditure of the £6,000 cost to the Polegate tax payers, not Cllr Joe O’Riordan, much easier to endeavour to lay the blame on me in an attempt to score political points.

A group of residents, having read Cllr Clewett’s letter, said to me just this morning “What is it that they (Cllr’s) are so concerned about; we believe it is because you are replacing Roy Martin”. As a much revered councillor of Polegate I take that as a great compliment.

This is my final letter on the matter.

Cllr Joe O’Riordan,

Polegate Independent