Update: Husband and wife councillors in Grantham furious as Tory vote goes against them

Coun Jean Taylor and Coun Mike Taylor.
Coun Jean Taylor and Coun Mike Taylor.
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Husband and wife councillors Mike and Jean Taylor say they are angry not to be standing as Conservative councillors at next year’s local elections.

As a result of a ballot of members at a meeting of the executive of the Grantham and Stamford Conservative Association last week, Mr and Mrs Taylor were not selected to stand for the party next year.

Mrs Taylor was threatening to become an Independent candidate, but has since said she has been persuaded to remain a Conservative while her husband says he will remain a Conservative councillor until the election next year.

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 to contest the newly-created Arnoldfield ward.

Coun Taylor, who is Portfolio Holder for Stretegic Resources - Well Run Council at South Kesteven District Council, 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, I can’t help feeling it’s not right.”

Coun Mrs Taylor, who represents St John’s ward, said: “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.

“As far as I am concerned, 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 Grantham and Stamford Conservative Association Richard Davies, a county councillor, 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.”

He 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.”

A former member of the RAF Regiment, Mr Ward said: “I like to get things done. I am a down-to-earth ex-squaddie.”

Mr Ward said he wanted to see free parking introduced in Grantham to help the local economy.

On being selected to stand at the next election, Helen Goral said: “I am really pleased. It’s been quite an intense process to get here, but all worthwhile.”