Newly formed political group in Wisbech is set to contest by election for town council seat

PUBLISHED: 11:04 10 March 2017

Early arrivals at a conduct committee hearing at Fenland Hall, March, on February 7 were protesters from Wisbech Voices. They were there to hear a complaint by Cllr Steve Tierney against Cllr Alan Lay. PHOTO: Rob Morris

Early arrivals at a conduct committee hearing at Fenland Hall, March, on February 7 were protesters from Wisbech Voices. They were there to hear a complaint by Cllr Steve Tierney against Cllr Alan Lay. PHOTO: Rob Morris

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A new political group – formed following a protest at Fenland Hall last month- is set to contest its first election.

Q & A to Wisbech Voices?

Who are Wisbech Voices?

Wisbech Voices is a group of people from different walks of life, and different political allegiances. Some people support the main national political parties, others support none.

What is the purpose of Wisbech Voices?

To draw the attention of local people to what the group believes is the negative effect on Wisbech, both present and future, of Town and District councils run by a tightly-knit clique of politicians who seek to stifle debate and demean anyone who disagrees with them.

Why has Wisbech Voices emerged at this point in time?

Matters have come to a head with what the group believes to be a mean-spirited and very public humiliation of Councillor Alan Lay, over what seems to be a trivial exchange of words at a Town Council meeting.

Why has the group taken issue with the way Alan Lay is being treated?

People who follow local politics, especially on social media, will be aware that Alan Lay and, more recently his wife, Brenda, have been the subject of mockery, rudeness and downright unpleasantness at the hands of some fellow councillors over a four year period.

A new political group – formed following a protest at Fenland Hall last month - is set to contest its first election.

Wisbech Voices held its first meeting this week and elected retired factory manager Dave Veal as its chairman.

He said: “The group is a non-aligned group of people across the whole political spectrum.

“We decided to get together as we have all been saddened by the way we feel Wisbech Town Council is being run by a political group, not for the benefit of the town but the priority of a political party.”

He said the posts of deputy chairman, secretary and treasurer had all been elected.

“Our first priority was to agree a constitution and our aim is to put people before politics,” said Mr Veal.

“Many people who have attended recent town council meetings have been saddened to see so many of our councillors who just sit there, say nothing, make no contribution to debates and then just vote the way they seem to have been told.

“Our aim is to give all people of Wisbech a voice in the way our town is managed.”

The group is planning to select a candidate for a by election on Wisbech Town Council in May; it has yet to confirm if it will be fielding candidates for the county council elections on the same day.

Members of Wisbech Voices lobbied Fenland Hall, March, on February 7 in support of UKIP Councillor Alan Lay who faced a complaint from Conservative councillor Steve Tierney.

The complaint was dismissed.

Ahead of their protest a group spokesman said Wisbech Voices “believes that in our town, of all places, bullying has no place in the school playground, the workplace or in local politics.”

In a statement of believes Wisbech Voices say they are “a group of people from different walks of life, and different political allegiances. Some people support the main national political parties, others support none.

“Its purpose is to draw the 
attention of local people to what the group believes is the negative effect on Wisbech, both present and future, of town and district councils run 
by a tightly-knit clique of politicians who seek to stifle debate and demean anyone who disagrees with them.

“Matters have come to a head with what the group believes to be a 
mean-spirited and very public 
humiliation of Councillor Alan Lay, over what seems to be a trivial exchange of words at a town council meeting.

Cllr Lay and, more recently his wife, Brenda, have been the 
subject of mockery, rudeness and downright unpleasantness at the hands of some fellow councillors over a four year period.”


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