Departing councillor says they cannot make a difference

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 04 April 2014 Updated: 04/04 10:06

A DEPARTING councillor has warned future candidates they have no hope of shaping the future of the town.

Coun Michael Chalk issued the parting shot after announcing at a meeting on Monday (March 31) he would not be standing in next month's Redditch Borough Council elections. He was first elected to central ward in 1979 and, after a number of years off the council, has served the Astwood Bank and Feckenham ward since 1994.

But he said anyone who was not on the authority's main decision-making executive committee had 'little or no say' about how the town developed.

The former mayor said in a message to new councillors: "If you hope to shape the future of the town, forget it.

"You are expected to vote as your group tells you."

He said both Labour and Conservative Governments had 'whittled away' at the responsibilities of local government and he had twice voted against his conscience, including over shared services which he said were causing the town to lose its identity despite saving money.

But the Conservative party member said councillors did get the opportunity to help residents with issues, saying they should always remember people had voted for them and be prepared to serve them.

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