WITH reference to questions asked at the leisure centre consultation as to why I was not present I understand a Conservative councillor said it was my choice.
I feel the record should be made clear as that response is disingenuous.
The actual situation is clear.
I am currently advised by the ESBC monitoring officer that as my residence is opposite the existing leisure centre I would be in a situation where I may benefit to a greater or lesser extent than other residents in the town with respect to the current deliberations and final outcome, I therefore have to declare an interest.
In doing so I cannot attend or make my opinions known.
It is advice and I do have a ‘choice’ whether to accept that advice or not, not to do so would almost certainly result in legal action being taken against me.
My own legal advice is that they concur with that outcome.
Therefore in real terms the ‘choice’ my Conservative colleagues referred to is purely academic and in no way represents the real meaning of the word — ‘Hobson’s choice’ is the reality.
I hope that has made the situation clear and I am sorry I am unable to represent my constituents on this occassion.
Councillor Martin Blencowe, East Staffordshire Borough Council Uttoxeter Heath Ward.