Long-standing county councillor’s anger after deselection
A Conservative Suffolk county councillor of nearly 19 years has spoken out after receiving confirmation she has been deselected for next year’s elections.
Jane Storey, county councillor for Thedwastre North Division, which includes Woolpit and Elmswell, and who has worked at that level since January 2002, was told by her party she will not fight for them in the county council’s May elections.
Having initially appealed against the make up of the selection panel, the councillor was given a re-interview last weekend.
But in an email sent by Cllr Storey to Conservative members, obtained by the Bury Free Press , she said: “There were again five members on the panel – three were the same as last time. Even criminals get a new jury at a re-trial but I digress – the result was the same – I was not selected as a candidate.
“I have to ask myself why a sitting councillor of almost 19 years at Suffolk County Council, who has been a councillor since 1997, and a Conservative for over 40 years is not considered good enough to be put forward for the seat where she has increased her majority one hundred-fold.”
The councillor believes it could have been due to speaking in favour of a Green, Lib Dem and Independent Group proposal amendment during the council’s budget debate this year.
She said: “Under our group rules I am allowed to speak and vote on local issues. Admittedly, I did not let Matthew (Hicks – Conservative leader in the council) know that I was intending to do that – I had an emergency dental appointment in the morning and then could not get a chance to talk to him before the meeting.”
Speaking to the Bury Free Press , Cllr Storey said she was now looking at her options for the elections.
She said: “Being a councillor in one place for so long, the electorate sometimes recognises the name for good work and not the flavour.”
Approached for comment, a spokesperson for Bury St Edmunds Constituency Conservative Association said: “As the process of selection for all candidates is still ongoing we are not in a position to say anything further at this time.”
Another Conservative county councillor who faced deselection, Colin Noble, has had the decision turned around and hopes to stand for his Row Heath division seat in May.
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