Row breaks out over party loyalty

Mansfield road Eastwood. eastwood town council offices.
Mansfield road Eastwood. eastwood town council offices.

An Eastwood town councillor – known by many as a pillar of the community – nearly quit this week after being blasted for ‘not supporting’ the Labour group and being told his actions were ‘abhorrent’.

Brian Griffin - who has been a town councillor for six years and been town Mayor twice – threatened to give his notice after being accused of not voting with his Labour members and not committing to their election campaign.

Labour leader of the council, David Bagshaw, stood up and made a speech about the alleged actions of both Brian Griffin and Ken Kenny after Cllr Bob Charlesworth referred to them ‘non-aligned councillors’ in last month’s meeting.

Cllr Bagshaw said: “This Labour Group worked tirelessly to establish a majority and these two councillors did little or no canvassing.

“When elected it is a requisite to support the people that put you there. I would ask them to put in writing to the town clerk where their political allegiance lies.

“We (the Labour group) find their actions abhorrent. It takes years to build up trust and seconds to destroy it.”

But the two councillors said they voted for what they thought was best for the town, and that party politics should not be an issue at town council level.

Cllr Griffin – who has been involved in community groups in the town for 60 years – said the accusation was a ‘disgrace’ and he ‘could not cope anymore’ with how the council was being run.

“When I became a councillor I did so to represent the people of Eastwood. It’s not to do with colours,” he said.

“I did not come to this council to be told by anyone how to vote. I will vote how I see fit. This is not a parliament and I certainly won’t be writing to the town clerk to tell him where my political allegiance is.

“It’s an absolute disgrace – ridiculous. I can’t cope with it and I’m not here to make myself ill. To be accused like I have – I have never heard anything like it.

“I met him (Cllr Bagshaw) on South Street and at the end of Chewton Street to go campaigning so I think he has got a selective memory,” added Cllr Griffin.