By-election avoided again as Tory councillor makes second short appearance in a year

News / Thu 7th Dec 2023 at 07:52am

A BY-ELECTION has been avoided (again) in Harlow as a Tory councillor “attended” his first meeting in just under six months.

Great Parndon councillor Steve Le May had not appeared at any meetings since June 7th this year.

The Planning Committee meeting of Wednesday December 6th was his last chance to avoid a by-election.

Councillor Le May is not on the planning committee and did not take part in the meeting but sat in the public gallery for fifty minutes and then left.

YH understands that this counts as attendance.

Avid readers may be getting a sense of deja vu as councillor May’s last appearance at Harlow Council was on June 7th when he sat in the public gallery and then left.

That was his first appearance since December 15th, 2022.

We estimate that Cllr Le May has been paid close to £4,500 for spending just over 90 minutes sitting in the public gallery on June 7th and December 6th combined.

Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that a member of a local authority loses office if they do not attend a meeting at least once in any six-month period.

Councillor Le May, like all 33 councillors will be up for re-election (should he be selected) in May 2024.

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19 Comments for By-election avoided again as Tory councillor makes second short appearance in a year:

2023-12-07 08:03:22

What a nonsense, he clearly can't be bothered to properly represent his constituents and should resign immediately.

2023-12-07 08:30:13

If we keep voting him in then he will keep doing what he likes. That's why EVERYONE should vote at these elections

Jennifer Steadman
2023-12-07 08:35:14

Surely Mr LeMays lack of attendance is a blatant disregard of duty & a no confidence red flag to his constituents & to the council? How can a seat in the public gallery count as an 'attendance' where he cant vote and cant participate in council decisions and cant do what he was voted in to do ie represent his Gt Parndon constituents? I've attended more meetings this year in the public gallery than Mr Le-May as the Bush Fair Green Party Candidate! Is this a case of 'by-election' avoidance as a tax payers money saving exercise or because they know that seat will be lost? Surely the Great Parndon residents deserve a more committed councillor who will actually do what is expected of him or her?

Tony Treacher
2023-12-07 08:40:59

As the councillor in charge of Pot Hole repairs, we could assume that he is too busy with this work? But, we know that’s not the case, driving around Harlow. Why are we paying someone £4,500 a year, out of our Council tax, who clearly has no interest in the job?

2023-12-07 08:54:20

Shame on him, get him out. Surely as a conservative councillor, the conservative leadership must be totally ashamed of him not dong anything for his ward he represents, and taking money for it as well? If I was them I would call a by election, do something about it now if they want to show they actually care about the voters. Very little chance they will get back in, but do it now whilst there is a glimmer of hope. Wait until 2024, then no hope. What a waste of space, and tax payers money. He should be made to pay it back.

Kim Oconnor
2023-12-07 09:02:05

Mr Leymay , should be made to pay it all back... and made to leave...

2023-12-07 09:06:02

This is scandalous and shows the contempt our elected politicians have for us.

2023-12-07 09:56:06

This sorry state of affairs seems to reflect the blatant lack of leadership and unity within the Conservative Party at both a local and national level. Unseemly, uncaring self interest coupled with obvious contempt for the electorate abound. Perhaps the leader of the Harlow conservatives and council could have a word with this waster, and do us all a favour and get rid? I fear the desperate state of his “party “ means he would not have the courage to do so or confidence he could count on the support of other members? Or is there hope? Mr Swords do you have the courage to step up and eject this parasite from your party and the council? I won’t hold my breath.. The sooner we get rid of these rotten apples the better!!

Luke Burton
2023-12-07 10:43:51

Yet more evidence why local government is an utter joke. Fancy Cllr title, lavish expenses, and a fast track ticket for selection to run as an MP somewhere else in the country. Not sure what's worse - undergraduate student politics at university or this.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-12-07 11:31:18

This situation is an utter disgrace and a reflection of just how poor the leadership of the Tory Party in Harlow is, all smoke and mirrors. Where was he when residents in his Ward wanted to see Sherards House converted in to flats? No-where of course. We can only presume that Cllr Swords condones this situation, I just hope those who voted Tory at recent elections and those that don't vote turn out to do so and give someone else a chance to truly represent them in council meetings. Nicholas Taylor, leader of the Harlow Alliance Party and Party candidate in the Great Parndon Ward.

2023-12-07 11:36:06

Daylight robbery.

2023-12-07 14:37:29

What a prick

Mark Ingall
2023-12-07 14:43:10

Very poor leadership by Conservative Councillor Dan Swords. He should have demanded Le May's immediate resignation months ago.

2023-12-07 17:21:15

There all as bad as one and other, all in it for their own means, none of them are worth the time of day.

James Gamble
2023-12-07 18:32:33

Shame more Tories don't stay away it save us a lot of money.

2023-12-07 20:11:48

Get him out now. None of the conservatives are say anything. Normally so vocal!!! You know it’s wrong. Bye bye…..

Bruce Downey
2023-12-07 23:53:21

Probably was as surprised to win his seat on the council, as Dan Swords in bush Fair, and James Leppard-Harlow Common, got in on a con landslide.. funny that..

Nicholas Taylor
2023-12-08 08:49:51

Bruce, I was there at the count the night that Cllr LeMay was elected and I can tell you that he and some other Conservative candidates clearly felt early in the evening that they had little chance of winning. Putting up paper candidates as they are known just to ensure that every Ward has a Party candidate has back fired in this case, turning out in the public gallery should not count as attending a meeting.

2023-12-08 09:23:40

Land Sheriffs gave a donation worth £10,000 to Robert Halfon - Cllr Le May has been paid close to £4,500 - It's the circular economy

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