councillor Paul Bristow has decided to stand down from the Council after attracting increasing criticism for telling voters in the Middlesbrough seat he is contesting at the General Election he "lives locally" in his election literature, while drawing over £30,000 from us as local taxpayers for his cabinet salary at the Town Hall. He will carry on until May 6th but will not contest his Fulham seat.
I'm actually from the North East originally so I've seen Cllr Bristow's campaign first hand on some of my visits up there, whatever you think of his policies he's certainly a very active campaigner and gets himself around very well indeed. The Tories maintain that his attendance record at the Town Hall is good and that he has contributed as a cabinet member for residents services as much as he needed to. You can see why the opposition parties constantly criticised him though, most of the severe funding cuts to have been introduced by this Council in pursuit of lower tax bills have been on residents services, so to have the cabinet member responsible taking his eye off the ball hundreds of miles away was not helpful for them.
In fairness to Cllr Bristow he's not the only councillor to be standing as a would-be MP - Labour Hammersmith Broadway Cllr Lisa Nandy's website declares she "lives in Wigan" for example - but he is the only one drawing such a high salary and in such an important role. He's obviously done the right thing, but coming weeks before polling day it looks like it's been a result of a push rather than a jump!