It feels like they are picking on me

PUBLISHED: 11:02 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

In a letter in the Stevenage Comet for October 27, 2005, Conservative county councillor for Knebworth, Robert Ellis, alleged (wrongly) that I had announced that I would find it very difficult to attend meetings during the working day. At the time, I decid

In a letter in the Stevenage Comet for October 27, 2005, Conservative county councillor for Knebworth, Robert Ellis, alleged (wrongly) that I had announced that I would find it very difficult to attend meetings during the working day.

At the time, I decided that responding to this idiotic comment was not worth my or your readers' time and effort. However, recently I find that Stevenage Labour Party have reprinted but misquoted the Conservative's comments, added a few further factual errors, thrown in a misleading and wrong statement about councillors' allowances, and circulated it all to residents in Stevenage in a so-called Labour newsletter, as part of a personal attack on me.

For the record, I have an excellent attendance at my meetings, including some extra meetings I do not have to attend. Also, the fact is that all council allowances are independently decided and agreed by all parties.

Perhaps Robert Ellis, who is the Leader at Hertfordshire County Council, might like to ask his own authority why so many meetings are during working hours? And, how dare he accuse me of having scant regard for the electors of Stevenage when, not long ago, the hugely unsuccessful candidate for the Manor ward council election actually lived in Welwyn Garden City!

How dare Labour make these comments when one of their county council candidates in May 2005 knew before he was elected that he would have, by law, to resign thereby costing Stevenage council taxpayers thousands of pounds in by-election costs. Or, when they know that Labour councillors have a poor attendance record at the important Performance, Priorities and Improvement Group - unlike me, who, for example, at great personal inconvenience returned to attend it on February 2, so making the meeting quorate, despite being away on business in Leeds that day.

I am told by local residents - who know that I represent them well at both SBC and HCC - that these occasional and very tedious personal attacks on me by Conservative and Labour are merely indicative of the great frustration that they both feel at being equally and thoroughly humiliated by myself and my party in local elections in the last 24 years in the Chells and Manor areas of Stevenage. I am beginning to believe them!

ROBIN PARKER, Borough Cllr for Manor ward and Leader of the Opposition (Liberal Democrats) on Stevenage Borough Council, Cty Cllr for Chells Division on Hertfordshire County Council

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