Tories dump Oxley
A CABINET member of Tendring District Council has been kicked off the list of candidates for the next local elections.Pierre Oxley, who represents the ward of St Paul's said he was “devastated” when he found out the East Clacton and Holland branch of the Harwich Conservative Association had decided not to select him as a candidate for next year's district elections.
By Juliette Maxam
A CABINET member of Tendring District Council has been kicked off the list of candidates for the next local elections.
Pierre Oxley, who represents the ward of St Paul's, said he was “devastated” when he found out the East Clacton and Holland branch of the Harwich Conservative Association had decided not to select him as a candidate for next year's district elections.
Branch chairman Charlie Sambridge, also a Tendring councillor, said he did not know why members did not select Mr Oxley. He said it was “a bit of a surprise”.
He said: “Members are not quite happy. There will be a meeting to determine what their grievances are and see if we can come to an arrangement.”
Mr Oxley, who has the leisure portfolio at Tendring and also represents Clacton East on Essex County Council, said: “I'm extremely devastated. I've been connected with the party for 16 years, a district councillor for seven, with an unblemished record.”
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He said he did not know why he had not been selected. He was unable to make the meeting on Tuesday night because of a prior engagement.
“I'm quite a high profile councillor. I'm the portfolio holder for leisure services. Certainly people don't always agree with my decisions.
“I've always worked extremely hard for the local area. I've the highest mandate at county and district level.”
He now wants to meet the branch committee. “I am more than happy to answer any questions about my conduct, record and achievements.”
Mr Oxley added: “I would hope they would reselect me. I believe my record stands out as someone who works extremely hard for the party.”
The leader of Tendring District Council, Terry Allen, said he was “very surprised” to hear that Mr Oxley has been deselected.
“Pierre Oxley is one of the most effective, young and committed local politicians the Conservative party has got.
“I'm going to have to look at this and see what went on there. It's very surprising that a few members can speak for the whole of his ward where he's highly supported because of the high profile work he does.”
Earlier this month Mr Oxley was severely criticised after he was presented with a 1,000-name petition against leisure centre price increases and said he was going to throw it in the bin.
Tendring Youth Council leader Stephen Mayzes, who gave Mr Oxley the petition, said he was going to report Mr Oxley to the Standards Board of England, which is responsible for investigating complaints against councillors.
Mr Oxley confirmed he would be throwing the petition in the bin because the cost increases were to partly fund a £1.7 million improvement in leisure facilities in the district, including a new health spa and gym and astro-turf pitch.