Local Labour Party members are extremely concerned at the unfair portrayal of them by former Labour councillors Selby and Wells.
While disappointed at its outcome, Coun Selby cannot criticise the democratic process by which Sue Orwin and Coun Mark Ashberry were selected.
Under Labour Party rules, all candidates compete on equal terms to stand in a ward with no preference being given to sitting councillors, however much they may feel their position should bring some advantage.
Coun Mark Ashberry was also a sitting councillor in the Harrowby ward and could have been equally of the view that he should be able to stand for Harrowby ward. This fact appears to have been completely overlooked by Councillors Wells and Selby. All candidates were given a fair opportunity to present their case to local members. Coun Mark Ashberry and Sue Orwin were selected as the best candidates on the day. The Labour Party is delighted that so many local wards will also have a female Labour candidate this election, reflecting our communities. Regrettably Coun Selby’s subsequent actions have served to confirm that the right decision was made by local party members.
In attacking the Labour party, it is easy to forget that Labour members are also dedicated local people, often working behind the scenes for their communities. They also have the interests of the whole community in mind and we believe there are greater issues at stake than the personal interests of any individual. As the Conservatives persist in threatening our NHS and public services, announce proposals to sell off more council homes, introduce short term tenancies for council tenants and refuse to stop the Bedroom Tax, it is vital that local people vote for a party that will protect them from such challenges. We are committed to that task locally and nationally. If Coun Selby truly had our communities’ interest at heart, he would have stood behind us and not against us at this election.
Coun Charmain Morgan
Grantham & Stamford Constituency Labour Party chairman