DCSIMG

Councillor is suspended for dissent

Councillor Steve Tulley from South Elmsall. Suspended from Labour party after taking a stand over the council tax support grant for town and parish councils.
h320a410

Councillor Steve Tulley from South Elmsall. Suspended from Labour party after taking a stand over the council tax support grant for town and parish councils. h320a410

Councillor Steve Tulley has been suspended from the Labour Party for standing up against a ‘thieving’ district council.

Coun Tulley voted against the Labour budget last month as he disagreed with a decision that meant a council tax support grant would not be passed on to town parishes, including Featherstone Town Council, despite government guidance to the contrary.

He was summoned to a party meeting on Monday for a disciplinary hearing, where the district councillors voted to suspend him indefinitely for breaking party rules.

Coun Tulley said: “There are 21 councillors who represent parish wards - how can they sleep well at night knowing they are part and parcel of a decision making process that is robbing our communities? That money should and could have come back to the town councils - that is what it was for.

“It is tantamount to thieving, and from the most deprived areas too. I have no regrets and I stand by my decision.”

The district council has been told by Conservative MP Brandon Lewis - parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Communities and Local Government - that it must explain to taxpayers why the support grant has not been passed on.

The grant is worth £15,000 to Featherstone Town Council, which raised its precept by 18 per cent last year.

Coun Tulley, who has been a party member since 1978, will remain in his seat, without the backing of Labour.

Coun Graham Stokes, cabinet member for corporate performance, said: “This is a Labour Party issue, however Coun Tulley remains an elected member of council and still represents his constituents at council.

“The letters from Brandon Lewis do not specify an amount of money to be ring-fenced for town and parish councils. We advised town and parish councils last year that the funding was not likely to be forthcoming for 2014/15 and a number of them raised their precepts last year and put money into their reserves in preparation for this to limit the impact on their own budgets.”

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page