Tory councillor is removed from job over parking row

AXED Councillor Andy Lenaghan
AXED Councillor Andy Lenaghan
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A PROMINENT Tory councillor has lost his job of scrutinising parking issues after he criticised the council’s decision-making.

Andy Lenaghan, a long-serving councillor for Hayling West, will no longer be the scrutiny lead for environment and neighbourhood quality at Havant Borough Council.

He had served in the role for two years and was responsible for analysing in detail issues such as parking and litter.

As reported, Cllr Lenaghan spoke out publicly about not agreeing with the council increasing hourly parking charges from 70p to £1.

He also likened proposals to introduce parking charges at Hayling Island Health Centre as a ‘tax on the sick’.

In a decision made by council leader Tony Briggs, Cllr Lenaghan has been replaced by Cowplain Cllr David Keast for the scrutiny lead.

Cllr Lenaghan told The News: ‘I was getting too vociferous about the parking charges on Hayling.

‘Tony Briggs withdrew the scrutiny lead role from me.

‘He told me. He said “you are not supporting the Conservative policies at the moment so I am going to have to take the scrutiny lead from you”.

‘My loyalty is to Hayling and concerns of traders on Hayling and residents having access to the shops.

‘I had to make a stand because it’s affecting retail businesses on Hayling.’

Cllr Briggs told The News he reshuffled several positions on committees, including making former Mayor Gerald Shimbart the overall scrutiny chairman and new appointments on the planning committee.

But he said: ‘Quite clearly Andy does not support me.

‘He’s made that very plain.

‘It makes it extremely difficult to continue to ask him to lead if he does not agree.

‘This is not a one-off vindictive measure. It’s a whole reshuffle with a number of people moving sideways or altogether.’

Deputy leader, Cllr David Guest stressed that full council had already voted to implement the parking charges. He added: ‘I think it would be untenable for a chair of a panel to continue to fight against adopted policy and remain in an important position like that.’

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 people have signed a petition calling for the reversal of the parking fees in Mengham and plans for the health centre. A council debate takes place at a later date.