Bereaved safety campaigner to stand against HDC leader in May elections
ROAD safety campaigner Maxine Hay is so angry about the way she has been treated by Huntingdonshire District Council that she will stand against council leader Ian Bates in the election on May 1. Mrs Hay, whose son 16-year-old Warren died crossing the A14
ROAD safety campaigner Maxine Hay is so angry about the way she has been treated by Huntingdonshire District Council that she will stand against council leader Ian Bates in the election on May 1.
Mrs Hay, whose son 16-year-old Warren died crossing the A141 Huntingdon northern bypass on his way to a football match in May last year, has successfully campaigned - with backing from The Hunts Post - for a light-controlled crossing at the junction with Kings Ripton Road.
Warren, a Chelsea fan, was a pedestrian on his way to Jubilee Park playing fields when he was struck by a car. He died later in hospital.
His mother formed the Warren Hay Road Safety Action Group to press for improvements. Cambridgeshire County Council fast-tracked the scheme and, last December, agreed a £160,000 no-right-turn scheme but said it would put in the £360,000 lights if HDC and Huntingdon Town Council also contributed.
They did, the balance of funding was found from a pot held jointly by the country and district councils, and work should start later this year.
But Mrs Hay, who lives in Alconbury, was so incensed by the way she was treated by Cllr Bates that she decided to stand against him as an independent candidate in The Hemingfords Ward.
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"I'm fed up with Ian Bates's nonchalant attitude. That's not right for the leader of the council. He should set an example. He has treated us and me personally quite appallingly," she told The Hunts Post.
Cllr Bates had stopped talking to Mrs Hay after HDC received a letter from her solicitors late last year demanding compensation for her son's death, because no provision was made for pedestrians when the council approved the planning application for Jubilee Fields. He believed further contact could jeopardise the council's legal position.
Mrs Hay acknowledges that she has little chance of election in a safe Tory ward, but added: "It's just for what I feel is right for the district."
Cllr Bates on Friday declined to comment. "I don't yet know who's standing," he said.
In Godmanchester, where one seat became vacant on the sudden death of Councillor Carol Godley in late February, her widower, Peter, will be trying to retain it for the Conservatives.
Nominations for the vacant HDC seats - about one-third are contested in three years out of the four-year electoral cycle - close at noon tomorrow (Friday, April 4). A full list of candidates will appear on this website. The political parties are expected to launch their election campaigns next week.
Several parish councils will also be contested, including St Ives Town Council where a raft of independent candidates, who are fed up with party politics on the body, will be seeking to unseat the incumbent Tory members.
A full list of candidates will be printed in the next edition of The Hunts Post.