Andrea Jenkyns on the saga of having to resign as a Lincolnshire councillor after complaints over her work as a part time music teacher.
It is with sadness and great regret that I have had to resign from being a Lincolnshire County Councillor. My reason for this is that when I first stood in the June election I was working part-time (6 hours per week) for Lincolnshire Music Service, at that time I sought advice from the County Council whether I was eligible to stand having made it clear my priority was to be a Councillor and I received clear and unequivocal advice that I could do so.
On Friday 7th August, I was approached by the Leader of the Council stating that they had had a letter from the Labour parliamentary candidate querying my employment with the music service. (I had stood against the wife of the parliamentary candidate in my June election). I was told that they needed to look further into the situation, I told them that my role of a Councillor takes priority over my part-time employment and so I immediately resigned from my employment with the music service.
Following a meeting with the County Council it came to light that the advice I was given by them in May 2009 was wrong, and so that meant that I was not legally eligible to stand in the election. I did not wish to impair the reputation of either myself or the Council and I felt that I had no choice but to resign with immediate effect.
The County Council have issued a public apology to me because of the wrong advice I was given. I am naturally very disappointed to have to do this as I was really enjoying my role as an advocate for the people of Boston North West. Frankly, I feel very let down by the Council as throughout this period I have acted with total openness and with good faith. When I was elected I also gave up my job as a Musical Director of a performing art academy, so that I could concentrate on my role as a Councillor. Unfortunately I have now lost all my income sources.
Legally what is done cannot be undone but I do hope that in future more care is taken by the Council in advising prospective candidates.
The last two months since elected I have immersed myself entirely into the role,
And I feel that it is such a shame that we are going to be costing the taxpayers more money by holding another election, it also leaves us rather vulnerable to parties such as the BNP, who came a close second in the last election.
The Lincolnshire Conservative are a great team and have been so very supportive through out this, they are ‘pulling out all stops’ to get me re-elected in the By-Election.
So here goes for ‘Round two’.