Conservative leaves party over ‘damaging’ proposals

The nasty party in action, as the Plymouth Conservatives lose another councillor!  – Owl

Amber Edwards www.plymouthherald.co.uk

A Plymouth Conservative councillor and former council leader has resigned from the Conservative group. Patrick Nicholson will be seeking re-election to Plymouth City Council on May 4th 2023 as an independent when the Conservative’s proposed Council budget for 2023/24 is published, and following his de-selection by the Plymouth-wide Conservative approval panel.

Councillor Nicholson was first elected in 1992 and has served the Plympton St Mary ward throughout his time on the city council. He also served as the youngest city council leader in 2000 and as the youngest-ever Lord Mayor of Plymouth in 2005.

Cllr Nicholson was deputy leader of the council and of the Conservative group until March 2022 when, along with then council leader Cllr Nick Kelly and other cabinet colleagues, he stood down.

Cllr Nicholson said: “With the publication of the Conservative council budget with damaging proposals for district centre car parking charges, cuts to ward councillors’ community grants, potential cuts affecting important Plympton and Plymouth facilities such as swimming pools and community venues like Harewood House. I cannot and will not support the budget in its current form as it will damage my Plympton St Mary Ward residents.

“I am also appalled and disgusted with the treatment I have received by the current chairs of the three Conservative associations in Plymouth since last August when I submitted my application to stand again as a Conservative candidate, by de-selecting me as the Plympton St. Mary Ward Conservative Candidate.

“Along with the leader of the Conservative group Cllr Richard Bingley, many of these individuals have been Labour and UKIP Party members whilst over the last 30 years I have diligently sought to represent the residents of the Plympton St Mary Ward. I am confirming my intention to stand for re-election as an independent candidate in the forthcoming Plymouth City Council Elections in May.”

In order to campaign for his re-election Cllr Nicholson has tendered his immediate resignation from the Conservative group and will join the Independent Alliance Group of Independent Councillors to freely speak up for the Plympton and Plymouth issues that he is passionate about.

These include the unnecessary loss of trees in Armada Way and the impending council budget-setting meeting in February which is likely to see the introduction of car parking charges in the city’s district shopping centres like Ridgeway, Chaddlewood and Estover, as well as the potential closure of community facilities like Plympton’s Harewood House and the Plympton Swimming Pool.

Cllr Nicholson. said: “Over my long council service I have always put my Plympton St Mary Ward residents first and so my constituents should have the final choice of re-electing me or choosing a successor”.

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