Wisbech Conservatives explain the reasons why town’s mayor - publican Aigars Balsevics -is temporarily stepping aside
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech Conservative Association announced that the mayor – publican Aigars Balsevics – has stepped down temporarily, a week after being involved in a two-car collision.
The association posted the news on their Facebook page at the weekend.
“Until he feels able to resume his duties the deputy mayor will fill in for him – as is always the case when a mayor is unable to fulfil their role,” said the statement.
The statement said there has “recently been a lot of gossip and accusations concerning Cllr Aigars Balsevics and an incident that happened recently involving two vehicles.
“We do not know what happened in regards to the incident that people are talking about and we trust that if there is any evidence of illegality then the police will investigate accordingly.
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“It is easy to demonize somebody who is going through a tough time. But the spirit of the law in the United Kingdom is that individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and that dates back throughout our history.”
The statement added: “Cllr Balsevics is presently going through some difficult personal issues and these are his own personal business.
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“His colleagues have made him aware we are here if he needs help and to otherwise give him space to deal with these issues.”
The statement added: “We are not speaking on his behalf, but clarifying our position on the matter.”
The collision referred to happened on Monday August 31 and a young driver has told this newspaper of how Cllr Balsevics “suddenly drove off and was not seen again” after a collision.
Ryan Alexander, 26, was heading to Tesco with his partner and their year-old baby daughter just before 11am.
They were on the Lynn Road towards Clarkson Avenue when they say Cllr Balsevics suddenly pulled out in front of them.
“Aigars was parked in the layby outside the international food shop towards Mount Pleasant,” said Ryan.
Traffic was brisk when suddenly, he says, Aigars “tried to make a U-turn and pulled right out in front of me. It was too late for me to brake and I went straight into him”.
Ryan said: “He pulled straight out; it left me no time. Had I swerved left I would have gone into a tree and if I swerved right, I would have run right into the back end of his car, and others probably too.”
He said his first reaction was to check that his baby daughter was ok.
“It was a shock for me, and my partner was understandably upset,” said Ryan. “As Aigars had pulled right out in front of us then, I thought we were going to sort things out. He gave me his number and suggested we move to the Clarkson Avenue layby to do just that.
“But he then got back into his car and drove off completely, I pulled into the Clarkson layby and called my partner’s father.
“Aigars rang me 20 minutes later and asked ‘how much is this going to cost?’ My partner’s father, who is in car sales, said it was not going to be a cash job but insurance”
“When he said that Aigars didn’t like that.”
Four hours later, with no insurance details forthcoming, Ryan and his family told their story on social media.
“Aigars saw all the negative stuff – he wasn’t happy and rang me. I said if he had simply given his insurance details, everything on Facebook would be deleted,” he said,
Ryan’s friends had also been on the hunt to photograph the damage to Aigars’ car, which they found parked near to his pub, the Angel.
“I was glad they found his car as I hadn’t taken the registration number” said Ryan, “I knew who he was of course – I used to drink in his pub before I had a family.”
“He didn’t give the registration number and I didn’t take it because I was in a state of shock and assumed, we were going to meet.”
Ryan said he initially was not able to give police the registration number but knew it was an Audi that Aigars was driving.
He later confirmed the registration plate details with Cambridgeshire police and received an incident number.
Ryan said it was his first accident as a driver and he was still shaken “as I had never experienced anything like it before”.
He said: “I am the only driver in my family and now without a car it is going to affect my work; it put me in the crap.”
Ryan said: “It would have caused so much less aggro had he just given me his insurance details – it would have been water under the bridge
“I gave him enough him to message us with insurance details – that’s when Facebook messages came and that helped us get it solved.
“Hopefully, everything will get sorted and we can move on.”
Ryan said it was not until 8am the following day that Cllr Balsevics rang to exchange insurance details.
Cllr Balsevics declined to comment when this newspaper contacted him. A request by this newspaper to speak to the mayor was also sent by town clerk Terry Jordan.
Ryan’s partner, and the mother of the child in the car, said Cllr Balsevics contacted her the following afternoon “to ask us to apologise to him. He claimed we crashed into him. I told him we had nothing to be sorry for – he Veronica Luco, the mayor’s former partner, revealed in a social media post that she had contacted the couple involved in the collision.
“I contacted them, worried about the baby,” she wrote.
In May Cllr Balsevics, who runs three pubs in the town – The Angel, The Three Tuns and the Kings Head – became the first Eastern European-born person to become Wisbech mayor.