Councillor forced to stand in new ward for first time in 43 years
PUBLISHED: 12:40 07 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:51 07 January 2019
A councillor who has served his community for more than 40 years will be campaigning to a new set of voters this May.
Tony Adams, who has been one of Broadland District Council’s representatives in Hellesdon since 1976, will not be standing in the ward in the next local election, which takes place in May.
It comes after Mr Adams failed to convince the Norwich Conservative Federation’s selection panel that he was the right man to stand for election.
Instead, he will be looking to continue his political career in the nearby Taverham north ward, after being backed by Broadland’s Tory group, a career which has spanned five decades.
He said: “Considering I have held the seat for more than 40 years I am not terribly happy about it.
“I would have preferred to stay where I am as I live in Hellesdon and have a personal following here but I am also happy enough to try in Taverham now.
“I would not consider running as an independent councillor just to stay in Hellesdon, so I will do my very best for Taverham north and am reasonably confident.”
Like every councillor coming to the end of a term, Mr Adams was required to go before a selection panel of five group members, including chairman Mark Oxley, to convince them he should be put forward for election again.
After inteviews, the panel of five is them required to vote for which candidates they wish to put forward, with Mr Adams not receiving this vote.
Mr Oxley refused to comment on the selection process and would not reveal which other members sat on the panel with him.
John Fisher, a member of the Broadland Tory group, said: “Everybody is interviewed by the selection panel and then a secret vote is held over whether they think somebody is suitable and unfortunately for Tony, he did not get the vote.
“Some areas are being looked at again though.”
Mr Fisher explained that the county’s Conservative groups are determined by parliamentary constituencies, rather than district boundaries, meaning while the Hellesdon south east ward is in Broadland District Council’s area, the Norwich group determines candidates.