Blackpool councillor dropped by his party as elections loom

A Conservative councillor has been deselected from his seat by the party ahead of next year's local elections in Blackpool.
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Coun Derek Robertson, who has represented Waterloo ward since winning a by-election in 2014, says he is now considering whether to stand as an independent candidate.

Coun Robertson says he felt his face "did not fit" because he failed to deliver leaflets for the party in the constituency.

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He said: "I think actions speak louder than words and because I didn’t volunteer to help it could be the reason why I wasn’t approved."

Coun Derek RobertsonCoun Derek Robertson
Coun Derek Robertson

Coun Robertson added: "During my time on the council I have resolved a great deal of local residents' problems and fought hard to try and get money for parts of Waterloo ward that are very badly neglected.

"I am well known in the area and have owned a hotel business in the area for many years.

"I have attended every single council meeting and also committees I have been appointed to. I was also asked to be the council’s armed forces veterans representative which I was honoured to accept.

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"I too am an army veteran and I was awarded the British Empire Medal during my military career."

He added he would continue to represent constituents until next May's elections "with the same level of support and care as I always have."

Coun Bradley Mitchell, chairman of the Blackpool South Conservative Association which selects candidates, said Coun Robertson was a valued colleague on the council.

He said: "The Blackpool South Conservative Association has the highest standard when it comes to selecting our candidates for elections.

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"Our candidates must engage with residents on the doorstep, provide regular updates to inform them of local community issues, help residents with casework and represent their views in the Town Hall - amongst many other things.

"It would appear that some members of the approval panel did not believe Derek met the required standard.

"This is understandably disappointing for Derek, but I am thankful for his contribution to Waterloo Ward in recent years.

"The quality of applications we have received is incredibly high and in selecting Jim O'Neill, someone with 24 years service in the army, and Chris Higgitts, a local businessman, we have brilliant candidates who will engage with the community and deliver for residents."

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