Facebook skive! UKIP candidate GAGS HIMSELF ahead of Waterside by-election
- Credit: Archant
The contest for the vacant seat on North Norfolk District Council took a bizarre twist this week.
A UKIP candidate hoping to win his party's first seat on North Norfolk District Council has refused to reveal why he is standing for election - or confirm if he will be able to attend any meetings.
Barry Whitehouse wants to replace no-show councillor Ben Jarvis as the representative for the Waterside ward.
However, he has declined to be interviewed before bagging the £5000-a-year role, citing 'other commitments'.
Mr Jarvis was kicked off the council after failing to attend a single meeting in six months – and then praised by his Conservative party colleagues for his 'hard work'.
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And, a month after being stripped of his membership of the local authority, he has yet to issue a public statement – or apology - explaining why.
The Conservative councillor's long-term absenteeism left the parishes of Catfield, Hickling, Ludham, and Potter Heigham with only one councillor – Paul Rice - and now facing their fourth by-election in just five years - at the public's expense.
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Four candidates have confirmed their intention to contest the seat this time around - Tony Lumbard, from Ludham (The Conservative Party); Marion Millership, from Sutton (Liberal Democrat); David Russell, from Roughton (Labour Party); and Mr Whitehouse, from Ludham (UKIP).
This paper has invited all four candidates to take part in a Facebook Live interview this week. Mr Russell was first to accept the invitation. We are still waiting to hear from the Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates – the only parties currently represented on the council.
Mr Whitehouse said: 'Regarding your request, I will not be available for a live interview as I have other commitments, however you can quote me from the EDP article preceding the 2015 District Council election which you have on record.'
The North Norfolk branch of UKIP describe Mr Whitehouse as 'a committed UKIP member, and a hard worker who deserves to go far'.
Mr Russell, a former district council chairman, previously stated one of the reasons he is standing for election is to break the Tory-LibDem monopoly on the council, which he claims has lost the trust of the public.
Voters will go to the polls to elect their choice of candidate on February 9.