Councillor apologises for by election
A COUNCILLOR forced to resign his seat after he was declared bankrupt has apologised to his constituents.Robert Everitt was disqualified from his position on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, where he was Conservative member for the Risbygate Ward of Bury St Edmunds, forcing the council to call a by-election.
A COUNCILLOR forced to resign his seat after he was declared bankrupt has apologised to his constituents.
Robert Everitt was disqualified from his position on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, where he was Conservative member for the Risbygate Ward of Bury St Edmunds, forcing the council to call a by-election.
Mr Everitt was adjudged bankrupt for failing to return self assessment tax forms over a three year period, although this ruling has since been annulled.
Because the bankruptcy was overturned, Mr Everitt could have contested the seat, but has decided against doing so.
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He told the EADT: "May I apologise to the residents of Risbygate ward and the borough for causing he by-election that will take place on May 20.
"It has been well documented as to why I had to stand down as the ward member, so I have taken the very difficult decision not to stand for re-election."
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He added: "I would like to thank the Risbygate residents for giving me the opportunity of representing them on the borough council, it was the most interesting and stimulating job, and one I will miss terribly."
Mr Everitt's departure could have cleared the way for the return of former St Edmundsbury leader Ray Nowak, who was ousted from the same ward at the last elections.
He had been a member for the council for seven years, and is also a Suffolk County Council member. Mr Nowak was part of the Labour group which joined with Liberal Democrat and Independent members to successfully oust the ruling Conservative group, but the Conservatives were restored to power last May when Mr Nowak and many other high profile members of the group lost their seats.
Mr Everitt, who has not ruled out a return to politics in the future, has also praised council officers and his former colleagues for their work on behalf of the residents of the borough and wished his successor well.
"I hope whoever is lucky enough to be voted as new ward member will keep the party politics to a minimum, the last thing the borough needs at the moment is to be distracted with politics.
"The Cattle Market development, art gallery and Theatre Royal, Haverhill town centre, to name but a few, are the issues that need careful consideration, and decisions should be the right ones no matter what your politics are, " he said.
Other candidates for the Risbygate ward are Mandy Leathers of the Green Party, Brian Lockwood, standing as an independent, Melinda Nettleton, also independent, and Paul Simner, Conservative candidate.