Controversial re-election of Polegate councillor

The mayor of Polegate Cllr Tim Voyce helps Amanda O'Riordan estate manager and Cllr Joe O'Riordan with the teas at the Guardian Court tea party for Marie curie Cancer Care. July 2nd 2011 E27050M
The mayor of Polegate Cllr Tim Voyce helps Amanda O'Riordan estate manager and Cllr Joe O'Riordan with the teas at the Guardian Court tea party for Marie curie Cancer Care. July 2nd 2011 E27050M
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A councillor who quit his position on Polegate Town Council in July because he was fed up with in-fighting by members ‘not working for the good of the town’ has been re-elected.

Joe O’Riordan resigned from the council as a Polegate Residents’ Association representative earlier this year, saying he felt councillors were there purely to boost their own egos and backing proposals which could be to the detriment of Polegate.

His resignation prompted a by-election, costing tax payers thousands of pounds.

Political watchdogs were then surprised to learn he was standing as an independent candidate in last Thursday’s by-election, which he won by a majority of just six votes.

But after his success, Councillor O’Riordan, who represents Polegate’s North ward, said he was pleased to be back in the political arena.

“I would like to thank all who supported me in the town council election and I am pleased to be able to continue to represent the electorate of our town concentrating on local issues that have a direct effect on our lives,” he said.

“The support was particularly pleasing for me, given in spite of the misleading and negative comments some of my opponents chose to make relating to the reasons for the election.

“I take the opportunity to assure people that I will continue to strive to improve our town and to work with its residents with the aim of developing our local facilities to meet the needs of all age groups. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so.”

Cllr O’Riordan clinched 230 votes in the by-election.

The other candidates were:

• Charles Goodwin, UKIP, 224 votes

• Jean Thorn, Liberal Democrat, 162 votes

• Lynn Alexander, Conservative, 129 votes

• Mark Dunbar, Independent, 127 votes