Login Register

Poll looms as Lincolnshire councillor Sara Cliff gives up seat after cash row

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: June 21, 2012

Sara Cliff

Sara Cliff: 'People will not be aware that I was seriously ill for six months in 2010 which impacted on the attendance record as reported.'

Comments (0)

A new county councillor, who will replace controversial reverend Sara Cliff, should be elected within two months.

Trade unionist and likely candidate Nick Parker has formally requested a by-election in the Lincoln East ward.

Under electoral law, if a request is made in writing, signed by two ward residents, a by-election must take place within 35 days, excluding weekends and public holidays.

Councillor Sara Cliff quit her seat this week after the Echo revealed how she had claimed £23,000 in allowances despite attending just 19 meetings in three years and after relocating 100 miles away in Cambridgeshire.

Related content

Mr Parker, who lives in the ward and is a Trade Union Socialist Coalition candidate, said: "I made the request because the residents of Lincoln East have been left without representation on the county council and we can't wait any longer."

Leader of the opposition at the county council and head of the Independent Party Marianne Overton said: "She had to step down. It was absolutely the right thing for her to do."

In a statement to the Echo, Ms Cliff said: "I do feel that I have been misrepresented in the media and people will not be aware that I was seriously ill for six months in 2010 which impacted on the attendance record as reported.

"However, while I did feel willing and able to carry on representing the people of Lincoln East, in view of the unwarranted hostility in the press, I am clear that this action is in the best interests of the Methodist church, the county council and my own family.

"As a matter of record I have awarded my Big Society Fund to St Barnabas Hospice to help support the excellent sevices they provide."

Meanwhile, in light of last week's story, a top county politician has called for county councillors' allowance money to be determined by the number of meetings they attend.

John Marriott, leader of the council's Liberal Democrats, says he has never understood why the attendance allowance was abolished in 2001.

"That needs to return to prevent examples like Sara Cliff," said Mr Marriott. "We should have kept it without a doubt.

"It was the Labour government at the time that made the change and I never agreed with it.

"It is a rule that is massively subject to abuse."

However, David Forbes, assistant director for resources at the council, said Government abolition of the old scheme in 2001 means "there are no legal powers to resurrect this allowance scheme".

Conservative leader defends Ms Cliff... p48

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • West_Lindsey  |  June 22 2012, 7:29PM

    It would be nice for representation to be from a local person who has the support of a majority of members of the public for the area concerned

    Rate   4
    Report
  • DufferBadge  |  June 22 2012, 1:35PM

    ThornyRay trouble with Independents is you don't always know what you are getting. I used to live in the East Riding and when the Tories were even less popular than they are now a number of "Independents" were elected at various levels of local councils. When Tory popularity improved a surprising number suddenly decided overnight that they were Conservative supporters after all.

    Rate   1
    Report
  • impetuous  |  June 22 2012, 12:53PM

    Totally agree with every word of the Echo's response to Martin Hill's spinning of reality.

    Rate   2
    Report
  • Sir_Chasm  |  June 22 2012, 11:20AM

    "Sorry I should have added disgusted with Martin Hill, not the Echo." And there you have it folks, the mindset of the far left. Don't ever put your side of the story, don't ever express a dissenting opinion. According to them, such things are disgusting and not allowed which is why I regard them as occupying the same moral stratum as the far right and as such, equally beneath contempt.

    Rate   3
    Report
  • TB78WHlNE  |  June 22 2012, 10:56AM

    "The by-election can be a referendum on the Tory County Council's cuts agenda which has cost over 1,000 people their jobs, including my auntie." No it can't. You don't get to say what the by-election can and can't be because you and your party are utterly irrelevant, as the results of the last two local elections have demonstrated far beyond any shadow of a doubt. Your hapless little party was thrashed soundly right across the board because nobody wants what you're selling and nobody cares what you think.

    Rate   6
    Report
  • Socialism  |  June 22 2012, 10:39AM

    Sorry I should have added disgusted with Martin Hill, not the Echo.

    Rate 0
    Report
  • Bob_Ovett  |  June 22 2012, 10:35AM

    FAO Socialism; try clicking on 'News' then 'Letters' and you'll find Martin Hill's letter. Which is what it was, a letter, so no real surprise it's ended up in the 'letters' section.

    Rate   3
    Report
  • Socialism  |  June 22 2012, 12:21AM

    The by-election can be a referendum on the Tory County Council's cuts agenda which has cost over 1,000 people their jobs, including my auntie. She worked in one of the council-run care homes for the last 16 years which has now been shut. She's now on JSA looking for minimum wage care work. Congratulations to the Tories and their millionaire mates. I can't believe the Echo hasn't published online what Martin Hill said in today's paper. Disgusted!

    Rate   -7
    Report
  • ThornyRay  |  June 21 2012, 10:29PM

    Maybe the people of that area should consider electing an Independent candidate, whom has to work hard without the backing of a major party. Still I doubt it, the Labour drones will turn out for which ever puppet they put forward, while the Tories will bring in someone from another area. All in all a by-election is a pointless exercise when who ever wins, will get to be elected for less than a year.

    Rate   9
    Report

      YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

       
       

      MORE NEWS HEADLINES

       
       
       

      MOST POPULAR