TWO SENIOR Conservative councillors have announced they will step down from Coventry City Council next May.
Shadow cabinet member for city services Tim Mayer and Conservative group deputy leader Allan Andrews have informed their constituents of their decisions.
It is thought Coun Mayer will run as a Parliamentary candidate, while Coun Andrews definitively ruled out doing so.
They have also taken contrasting positions on the state of the Conservative Party, with Coun Andrews taking a parting swipe at Prime Minister Boris Johnson for suspending Parliament and sacking Tory MPs with opposing views over Brexit.
Coun Andrews told us he had no intention whatsoever to run for Parliament – in Coventry or beyond – and will focus on his job as an adviser to Tory West Midlands mayor Andy Street.
He said the expectation of campaigning was becoming difficult to honour given his young family – son Carter – and health problems with Ankylosing Spondylitis and arthritis.
He said: “Since first being elected in 2008, I am proud of my record as your councillor and that I have been re-elected twice, in 2012 and 2016.
“There are regrets, too. We haven’t been able to address the taxi issue relating to the night-time economy in Earlsdon, despite various initiatives and a great deal of hours dedicated to it. Despite a campaign I led – leading to the biggest ever petition submitted to the council to retain a 50metre pool in the city centre – we didn’t. We got one in Coventry, at the Alan Higgs Centre, but I’d have much preferred it in the city centre. You can’t win them all.”
Coun Andrews listed his achievements in his role including winning a campaign to return the Earlsdon Festival, preventing the unpopular re-engineering of the ‘clock roundabout’ in Earlsdon, introduce a parking charge at the War Memorial Park, and charge kids to use its water feature.
Coun Mayer said: “Residents will know that I have three children and work across the UK. The demands placed on a councillor, having to work full-time and spend many hours a week on council or community duties, have been achievable over the past four years but with a recent change of work, parliamentary ambition and family circumstances I don’t feel that I can commit to the level that I feel is needed.
“I have been proud to hold our administration to account when errors have been made. This includes the campaign to stamp out bullying in the council and the fight to refund residents unfairly fined due to a delusional and confused bus gate and city centre restricted parking zone, resulting in and EGM and replacement of the cabinet member responsible.”
Coun Mayer listed other achievements including preventing the closure of Canley Community Centre and litter picking.
He said he regretted failing in a ‘stop the Local Plan’ campaign concerning housing and development in Coventry up to 2031.