The leader of Eastleigh Independent Group of Eastleigh Councillors will not be contesting his Eastleigh Central seat in the local elections – much to his own surprise.
Veteran councillor and former Mayor Glynn Davies-Dear has told Eastleigh News that although he had posted his nomination papers three weeks before the closing date, when he checked the published statement of persons nominated – he name was not on it.
Council officers told Cllr Davies-Dear they had not received his papers and refused a plea to be granted a late entry by flatly stating:
“The deadline… (is) set in law and cannot be extended for any reason, nor is there any mechanism for any late entries to be added to the statement of nominated persons”
The disappointed minority party leader said:
“I would have thought some concession would have been offered after almost 20 years of service.”
Fellow independent councillor Dave Broughton is also unable to defend his Eastleigh South seat due to illness – which means that Eastleigh Local Area Committee will lose its independent members and there is a real prospect that all seats on ELAC will be in Lib Dems with no opposition.
Glynn Davies- Dear along with councillors Andy Moore and Dave Broughton split acrimoniously from the Lib Dems in 2011 to set up the Independent Group of Councillors.
Following Andy Moore’s defeat in the 2011 local elections Glynn Davies-Dear complained about a leaflet distributed by Lib Dem Cllr Keith Trenchard which falsely claimed he had previous experience as a councillor.
The Independent Group also filed a complaint with the electoral commission regarding Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne’s 2010 election expenses – a charge which was dismissed.
Shortly Following the publication of the Independent’s complaints three Lib Dem councillors including Cllr Trenchard followed and filmed Davies–Dear driving an untaxed car – which resulted in the Councillor being censured by the standards committee at a hearing last month.
Two independents Ray Turner and Sam Snook – who are not affiliated to Davies-Dears group – have already announced they will be not standing this year leaving just one independent candidate, Kathy Symonds (who is also not an Independent group member) standing in the borough elections for Eastleigh North.
Cllr Davies-Dear says he is resigned to the situation which sees no Independent Group candidate standing in May:
“We are out of this year’s race. I will consider my options for next year, I have made no decisions at the moment but there is a sense of release from the dirty side of politics with which I have never managed to come to terms.”
Councillor Davies-Dear’s seat will now be disputed by Simon Bancroft for the Lib Dems; Dan Bradbeer for Ukip; Chris Gilkes, Labour; Stuart Jebbitt, Green Party and Michael Read for the Conservatives.
Ironically, Lib Dem candidate Simon Bancroft – who manages the Litten Tree pub in town and hopes to join Keith Trenchard in representing Eastleigh Central – has previously reported Independent Councillor Dave Broughton to the standards committee – although Cllr Broughton was a member of the Lib Dems at the time.
One local councillor was sympathetic to Cllr Davies Dears plight but added off the record:
“As an old hand he should know better than to post his papers. It’s not as if he lives a long way from the civic offices.”