Council service not about lining pockets

FOLLOWING his departure from the Conservative Party in September 2009, Huntingdonshire District Councillor Andy Monk, who was elected on a Conservative ticket in April 2009, has now turned his back on his Independent status, declaring that he has agreed

FOLLOWING his departure from the Conservative Party in September 2009, Huntingdonshire District Councillor Andy Monk, who was elected on a Conservative ticket in April 2009, has now turned his back on his Independent status, declaring that he has "agreed with UKIP on key issues for many years".

It speaks volumes that, despite this, he chose to put himself forward for election as a Conservative, making substantial promises to the local Ramsey branch, the constituency party and, most importantly, his electorate.

Standing under three different banners within the first 12 months of his tenure as district councillor for Ramsey must represent some kind of a record. I am sad to say it is also confirmation that the pressure the Ramsey branch of the Conservatives put him under to attend meetings and provide a better representation for the Ramsey Ward was more than justified.

Sadly, Ramsey Conservatives believed the promises and commitments Monk made at his selection interview when he claimed to be a committed Conservative who would be willing to work hard at council and in the Ramsey Ward on behalf of his constituents.

A quick check of his poor attendance record - he has managed to attend just two meetings out of a possible 10 since July - will demonstrate the level of commitment he has. In his resignation letter to the Conservative Party his main gripes were that, as the local branch chairman, I put too much pressure on him to work harder - and that he should be paid more if we expected a better job.

Conservative councillors in Ramsey are selected in the belief that they want to serve their community, not to enable them to line their pockets - one wonders if this message was not properly understood by Monk.

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It is interesting to see how positively UKIP has embraced Monk, allowing him to join their ranks despite their previous protestations against him that he is not visible in the community, does not live in the ward and has an appalling attendance record at council meetings.

Ramsey Conservatives are saddened and disappointed to see how a man they supported and had such high hopes for has let us - and, more importantly, this community - down so badly. Let us hope that he has made a New Year's resolution to do better - after all, if the last eight months are anything to go by, he could hardly do worse.

Mrs ANGELA CURTIS

Chairman, Ramsey and District Conservatives

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