Former Sidmouth chairman speaks out on party politics

PUBLISHED: 11:26 27 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:46 18 June 2010

A FORMER chairman of Sidmouth Town Council says it should not bring party politics to the council chamber but remain independent. Jane Sutherland-Earl from Sid Road was chairman from 1999 to 2001.

A FORMER chairman of Sidmouth Town Council says it should not bring party politics to the council chamber but remain independent.

Jane Sutherland-Earl from Sid Road was chairman from 1999 to 2001. She expressed her concern after learning one of two candidates up for election to fill a vacancy for Primley Ward was standing as a Conservative.

Voting was taking place yesterday, Thursday, as the Sidmouth Herald went to press.

The two candidates involved are Dr Dilly Fung of Fortescue Terrace, (Independent) and district councillor Graham Troman, (Conservative).

Mrs Sutherland-Earl said: "I don't agree with it. County and District are political but the town council has always been independent and should stay independent because we are all looking after Sidmouth.

"Why politics should come into it I don't know. I have been a Conservative all my life, but when I was on the town council I always said I am independent on it because you speak for everyone."

She did not believe Sidmouth should be political like Exmouth Town Council.

"It is bigger than Sidmouth and anyway, everyone gets on well. There is a Labour supporter and some Lib Dems, but no-one mentions politics. I have always maintained that no matter what your political beliefs the town council should be independent."

Sidford town councillor Jack Brokenshire, in a letter to the editor, states: "We have never bothered here [to be political].

"Even though the majority of members are members of political parties, it has never come out here within the council.

"Members are allowed to make up their own minds and not leaned on by a whip or similar.


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