Political rivals call for ‘absent’ Lib Dem councillors to resign

Cllr Rev David Clues and Cllr Gavin Sneddon

Cllr Rev David Clues and Cllr Gavin Sneddon - Credit: Archant

Green Party want Cllr Rev David Clues and Cllr Gavin Sneddon to give up their seats

Cllr Rev Clues has been living in Brighton for more than a year

Cllr Rev Clues has been living in Brighton for more than a year - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Political rivals are calling for two Liberal Democrat councillors who no longer live in the borough yet refuse to give up their seats to resign.

Cllr Rev David Clues, who has lived 80 miles away in Brighton for more than a year and Cllr Gavin Sneddon, who was believed to be living in East Barnet last June, have been given an ultimatum by the borough’s Green Party.

Shahrar Ali, spokesman for Brent Green Party expressed concern over the two absentees.

He told the Times: “The main task of councillors is case work for their constituents if they are not holding an Executive office.

“This is picked up at surgeries but also by door knocking and meeting people out in the ward.

“If neither councillor is planning to return to the borough, should they not resign so that residents can elect a fully engaged, local and accessible councillor to represent them instead?”

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Cllr Rev Clues, who is also the vice chair of a scrutiny committee, was elected to serve the Dudden Hill ward in Neasden in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

A former vicar at St Mary’s Church in Neasden Lane, he moved to Brighton in December 2011 to take up duties at St Bartholomew’s Church.

He does not currently hold a surgery and invites residents to contact him by phone.

He has given no indication of his intention to resign despite his council meeting attendance record for the last six months standing at 29 per cent.

The pair can continue to rack up an allowance of £7,974 per year provided they attend one meeting every six months.

Cllr Sneddon, who represents the Willesden Green ward, told the Times in June last year that he had moved to East Barnet.

He hinted at the time that he was “considering a number of options” including returning to the borough.

The Times attempted to contact Cllr Sneddon but the number listed for him on the council’s official website is out of action.

Mr Ali added: “Nomination papers for candidature as councillors list no less than four criteria, at least one of which must be satisfied, and all of which state the borough as a condition, either through residency, owner of land, main place of work, or by inclusion on the electoral register.

“Brent Green Party believes that local people, in difficult times, deserve nothing less than full representation.”

The Liberal Democrat office refused to comment on their absent councillors or their current situation.