Tories suspend three in parking fees row
Three councillors with more than 30 years service between them have been suspended by the Conservative group on South Ribble Council for failing to toe the party line.
Leyland members Michael Green, Mary Green and Caroline Moon have all been accused of losing the party a crucial vote by abstaining over plans to increase car parking charges in the borough in January.
They are due to face a disciplinary hearing in the next few weeks accused of breaching group rules and “embarrassing” the party after the attempt to up pay and display fees was scuppered by a solitary vote.
“I don’t think it’s any coincidence we are three Leyland councillors and we were told it would have had a big impact on businesses there,” explained Coun Moon. She said her decision not to vote for the proposal came after additional information was introduced during the council meeting which had not been included in a report to members about the fees.
“On my conscience I couldn’t continue down the same line where the information we had was fundamentally different in the council chamber to what we had been given before the meeting. I felt I’d been left in a position where I was having to vote on something I wasn’t entirely comfortable with.
“I would have been disappointed with myself if I’d voted for something I wasn’t absolutely sure about.”
The suspensions temporarily leave the Tories without a numerical majority on the council, but are unlikely to affect the running of the authority. Coun Moon explained: “While I’m suspended I’m still a Conservative and I’ll carry on being one.”
Group leaders declined to comment on the suspensions. But in an email, seen by the Post, the three are accused of “unacceptable” and “embarrassing” conduct which lost the Tories the parking fee vote.