The Story So Far
Readers know that Aughton & Downholland Cllr Samuel Currie, elected as he stated in his 2016 manifesto as “The local Tory candidate that will represent your views on West Lancashire Borough Council” used to live in Haskayne and declared he would not seek re-election in May 2020. But that changed, without formal notice of resignation. And from January 2020 to May 2021 he would still be paid by WLBC taxpayers.
“This morning I spoke to my group leader at West Lancs and told him of my decision not to seek re-election in May. I still own my home in West Lancs but recently moved my life to London so it’s the only way forward” Jan 28, 2020. He would be out of office in two days time but for coronavirus stopping local elections. So he lives in London and openly tweets from there.
On being asked, WLBC stated “The reasons why a vacancy may occur are prescribed in law under the Local Government Act 1972. These include; resignation, death, disqualification and failure to attend meetings for a consecutive period of at least 6 months (unless a local authority were to approve the absence).
“Vacancy by disqualification is prescribed in law under the following circumstances only; holding paid employment as an officer of the authority, being declared bankrupt, being sentenced to imprisonment of 3 months or more, disqualified for financial offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983, or being found guilty of corrupt or illegal practices by an election court.
“There is no other process in law for a (casual) vacancy to arise or to reduce the allowances of members to reflect their attendance at meetings. The Coronavirus Act 2020 postponed the May 2020 elections to May 2021. As part of the postponement, those members up for election this year are extended in office to May 2021”. That, in a nutshell, is a cheats charter! It takes council tax payers for a ride!
But there is simple resignation, as above. We who pay council tax might expect common decency from those recipients of our taxes. Turn up and work as you were elected to do or simply resign and bugger off.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, and is found in spades among we council tax payers. Not that the West Lancashire Conservative High Command would know anything about that.
When it suited Currie to be virtuous about where he lived he claimed, as a candidate for MP “I live in West Lancashire with my partner Michelle. I have been on the Borough Council since May 2016 representing Aughton & Downholland ward.
“Furthermore, it’s important to note that whilst many candidates will give lip service to protecting our front line services such as schools and the NHS, I am the only candidate who these services actually affect as I am the only one who lives here.
“My son was born in Ormskirk hospital, he goes to a local school. It is within my own interest as well as the interest of the residents of West Lancashire that the best possible funding for these services are protected”.
Once again we refresh our memories of what they said, not what they do! In 2017 Tory Cllr Currie questioned “the decision about Cllr Pryce-Roberts” and asked if it had anything to do with her poor attendance at meetings, or her career as a senior lecturer at Southampton university.
Mayor Furey stated this was a personal attack on Cllr Pryce-Roberts and made a thinly veiled threat of legal action against Cllr Currie.
Currie then stated “Frankly, if the mayor of West Lancashire doesn’t allow members to question the legitimacy of someone being on the council yet working some 250 miles away then I would question what his role is. His position is supposed to be apolitical but he seems adamant on going along with Labour ‘cover ups’.
“The good people of Skelmersdale South have a right to know who their elected member is and as I stated on Wednesday before I was ordered to keep quiet, Cllr Pryce-Roberts should declare how much time she actually spends in West Lancashire. As for Cllr Furey’s ‘get my solicitor involved’ comment I say ‘bring it on’.
“If speaking out against undemocratic members gets me into a spot of bother then so be it. My only concern is for the people of West Lancashire. Not for the feelings of the mayor or indeed any other elected Labour member”.
So there we are, and remain, until justice reaches council tax payers. Currie tweeted a close up of books in his toilet, one of which mentions crap. Suits his situation admirably?