Candidate criticised for Southsea Town Council claim

Michael Andrewes
Michael Andrewes
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A POLITICAL row has broken out over claims made by a Lib Dem candidate that his Tory opponent wants to bring back Southsea Town Council.

After many years of debate the town council was abolished in April last year.

But Michael Andrewes, who hopes to win St Jude for the Lib Dems in tomorrow’s election, has come under fire for claiming in election literature that Conservative Linda Symes wants to bring it back – an allegation she strongly denies.

In a hand-written letter to homes across the ward, he said: ‘I’ll continue to oppose the extra tax for Southsea my Tory opponent wants.’

And two printed leaflets from Mr Andrewes and the Lib Dems say: ‘My Conservative opponent backs a town council for Southsea and the extra tax that goes with it’, and ‘The Conservatives...want people in Southsea to pay an extra tax’.

But Ms Symes said: ‘It isn’t the case.

‘I have been very clear that although I supported the town council in the past, it has gone now and won’t be coming back.

‘It’s not even an election issue.

‘It’s a great shame we are talking about something none of us is campaigning for, rather than the things we actually do stand for.’

Defending his claims, Mr Andrewes said: ‘Linda Symes has been a strong supporter of the town council.’

Mr Andrewes and Ms Symes, along with Labour candidate Craig Cameron, are standing in the St Jude ward in tomorrow’s election.

None has indicated any support for the restoration of Southsea Town Council, which was abolished in April 2010.