Row erupts in council election

A ROW erupted at the annual meeting of East Lindsey District Council over the election of a new vice-chairman.

The leader of the Independent Group, Coun Terry Knowles, sought a secret ballot in the hope that this might lead to his party colleague, Coun Phil Leivers, of Chapel St Leonards, landing the post.

But his initiative was scuppered by the council’s leader, Coun Doreen Stephenson, who successfully called for an open and recorded vote, thereby ensuring that the Conservatives all supported their own candidate, Louth-based Coun Pauline Watson. The voting was 32-14.

The gambit angered Coun Knowles who accused the Tories of “voting under duresse”.

He continued: “It may be permitted under the constitution, but I deplore political coercion - it’s very bad for democracy.”

Earlier, another Conservative, Coun Stan Avison, who represents the Coningsby and Tattershall ward, was elected chairman unopposed in succession to Skegness-based Coun Dick Edginton, the previous incumbent.

Coun Avison announced that his charity for the forthcoming year will be the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.