AS a former member of Lewes District Council I read your front-page story (October 23) “Court case Tory quits the group” with growing concern. Councillor Groves has been found guilty of assaulting a police officer, disorderly behaviour, and resisting arrest – yet apparently, in his public role, he feels that mere resignation from the Conservative group is an adequate response and that he intends to continue as an Independent council member.
No apology to the police officers concerned, only the comment that “I have never done anything wrong in my life”. What kind of example to the public is that?
In my view, such attitudes serve only to undermine confidence in all elected representatives, and in the principles of justice.
What makes it all the more extraordinary is that, on reading Cllr Groves’ Declaration of Interests, I see that he is a member of the National Association of Retired Police Officers. Does this organisation condone the assault by its members of serving officers?
Cllr Groves has some serious explaining to do to the electors of Seaford West, given that the offences for which he has now been convicted took place before the local elections earlier this year. If they had known then, what they know now, would they have voted for him?
Looking at the figures, it would only have needed 62 of those who did, to vote instead for the highest-placed non-Conservative candidate for the result to have been very different. I think the time has come for them to be given that renewed chance to decide who should represent them on the District Council.
Cllr David Rogers OBE, County Councillor for Newhaven & Ouse Valley West