BELLE MONT, our Sutton correspondent, reports on a candidate for whom one set of council wages is clearly not enough
It would seem that there are no limits to the amount of public service Paul Newman is prepared to offer.
The Sutton resident has previously served as a Conservative councillor in Sutton South ward. On May 3, Newman is standing for the Tories in Sutton again, this time in Worcester Park ward.
The only problem with this is that, in 2015, Newman was elected as a Tory councillor for Bookham North on Mole Valley council.
If Newman were fortunate enough to get the backing of enough Worcester Park voters next month, it could create an intriguing set of circumstances, as well as see him add £10,000 a year of Sutton Council Tax-payers’ money to his bank account in allowances.
“If Newman is elected to Sutton Council, do we call him Councillor Councillor?” one bemused Sutton resident asked after noticing the awkward position Newman may be placing himself in.
“If elected to Sutton Council and meetings clash with those of Mole Valley, which one would he attend?” they asked, not unreasonably.
Newman was elected in Mole Valley in 2015. His term of office is four years, to 2019. There is no indication on the Mole Valley council official website that Newman has resigned his position there to pursue elected office elsewhere.
Of course, he may resign if elected, but that would necessitate a costly by-election in Mole Valley, which won’t go down well with the true-blue voters there. Thus Newman seems likely to be at the very least be “two jobs” for a year if he wins on May 3.
Newman qualifies to stand in both areas because he owns a property in Belmont and runs a butchers’ shop in Dorking.
Our bemused resident still doesn’t know how Newman will reconcile the fairly obvious problems of trying to represent the interests of two different neighbourhoods in two local authorities, while also running his business in Dorking.
“If a clash of meetings does occur, could the voters of Worcester Park demand that Newman’s responsibilities on Sutton Council come first, as we stump up twice the allowances rate of Mole Valley?”
Or maybe it just demonstrates the contempt with which some local politicians, and political parties, hold the people they want to vote for them.
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Perhaps he should seek advice from the Master of Doubling Up the Dividends “Silent” Steve O’Connell and go one better and seek the nice little earner from the London Assembly too which His Muteness is shortly giving up.