Spilsby mayor ‘disappointed’ at attack

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THE Mayor of Spilsby has asked a fellow councillor to explain allegations they made, which he felt ‘besmirched’ the council’s reputation.

Coun Michael Lenton believes that Coun Julia Pears had insinuated there had been ‘wrongdoing’ during previous mayoral appointments, when she made her own bid for the position at Spilsby Town Council’s May meeting.

In her speech to the council, Coun Pears alluded to her long-serving role as a councillor in Spilsby, which she claimed had been overlooked during Coun Lenton and Coun David Pleming’s appointment, following Coun Jim Swanson’s mayoralty.

Coun Lenton feared the reputation of all three councillors had been called into question with these remarks and felt Coun Pears should clarify her position.

As Coun Pears had refused several invitations to discuss the matter in private, Coun Lenton felt compelled to highlight the issue in public at Thursday’s town council meeting.

He said: “If you refuse to explain the allegations, I’m left with the only option remaining to me and that’s to assume what you meant.”

Coun Lenton went on to say that all three of the councillors had ‘strictly adhered’ to protocol and that those seeking to become chair must have the ‘confidence and support’ of their fellow councillors ‘irrespective of the length of service’.

Coun Pears left the meeting during Coun Lenton’s speech and chose not to accept a printed copy of the speech upon her return.

Speaking after the meeting, she said: “I didn’t read the statement, I don’t acknowledge it at all and I think it’s a disgrace that I’ve been discriminated against in terms of becoming a mayor.”

Coun Swanson, who could not attend the meeting as Spilsby’s county councillor due to pressing business elsewhere, has since refuted any claims of wrongdoing and condemned Coun Pears’ behaviour.

He said: “I was disappointed that Coun Pears continues to refuse to explain exactly what the previous three mayors had done that was not correct.

“I would expect a higher standard of respect and conduct from a councillor governed by the code of conduct.”