Wednesday, August 24, 2011

By-election in Bishop's Castle as Peter Phillips stands down

Peter Phillips, the long-serving councillor for Bishop's Castle is to resign after more than three decades in Shropshire politics, reports the Shropshire Star. You can hear him giving his reasons in a podcast accessible via that page.

Peter gives his reasons and reflections on the website of the Liberal Democrat Group on Shropshire Council:
"After such a long time – I first stood in 1973! – when local politics has been my consuming interest and ambition – it’s a really tough decision, but I’m conscious in recent years of not having quite that youthful vigour! Perhaps there’s never a perfect moment to go: actually, I thought very hard at election time in 2009. But really important issues for my residents compelled me to continue. There has been a sustained assault by Shropshire Council against local opinion. So I stayed to fight our corner. The schools campaign being the most recent."
"It took me 3 shots to get elected to the Council; but once in and doing things, local people have rewarded me with astonishing loyalty. It has been a real privilege.
Any reflections?  "Well, Opposition – we lost power to the Tories in 2005 – is a real eye-opener. You realise then that the most powerful “group” in the Shirehall is not the Lib Dem or Tory Group: it’s the senior office corps. They and the current Tories are wrecking the organisation. They have destroyed staff morale, trampled over public opinion and muzzled backbenchers and the opposition. It’s difficult to believe the unjustified assault of the last 12 months. And the losers are the Shropshire Public. I can tell you this: the by-election will jolly well demonstrate what my residents think of Shropshire Council!"
The by-election is expected to take place in late September.

Incidentally, Peter is the only Liberal Democrat councillor whose poems I have bought.

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