Grantham district councillors Mike and Jean Taylor will not stand as Conservatives at the next local election.
As a result of a ballot of members at a meeting of the executive of the Grantham and Stamford Conservative Association last night Mr and Mrs Taylor were not selected to stand for the Conservatives next year. Mrs Taylor says she will now become an Independent while her husband says he will remain a Conservative councillor until the election.
Helen Goral, chairman of Grantham Museum, and Dean ward, owner of Rumours Lounge Bar in Market Place, were selected to stand at the next election.
Coun Taylor, who is Portfolio holder for Stretegic Resources - Well Run Council at SKDC, has represented Greyfriars ward for 16 years and described the situation as a “stitch-up”. He told the Journal: “I do not see why I should have to move from a ward which I have served for 16 years. I do not mind losing a fair contest but when it is stacked against you unfairly it’s not right.”
Coun Taylor added: “I will still represent my people until the next election and then I will make the decision whether I stay with the party or not. I have been in politics longer that I care to remember and I can read a stitch-up any time.”
Coun Mrs Taylor, who represents St John’s ward, said it was with “much sadness” that she had decided to become an Independent. She has been a member of the Conservative Party since 1978 and has represented St John’s for more than three years.
She added: “There is a lack of morale in the Grantham Conservative party and apparently they do not care. I feel like I have been stabbed in the back. Loyalty and hard work count for nothing.”
Coun Taylor told the party he had wanted to stand for his ward again next year and Mrs Taylor had wanted to stand for the same ward instead of St John’s.
Chairman of the Grantham and Stamford Conservative Association Richard Davies, a county councillor, said new boundary changes come into play next year and Mr and Mrs Taylor were within their rights to stand for selection for whichever ward they wished. With new wards next year there were no incumbent councillors and members were selected in fresh elections.
Coun Davies insisted the councillors had not been deselected. He said: “They were both entitled to stand where they wanted. They were not successful in being selected. We operate on democratic principles and both declined to stand anywhere else.”
Mr Davies added: “Unfortunately Mike did not get elected for where he wanted and Jean wanted to stand with Mike and she did not win either and because of that they have not been selected.”