A Padiham town councillor’s bid to become Mayor is being hampered by political prejudice, he has claimed.
Coun. John Cave, who is a member of the British National Party, said party politics is the reason why some other town councillors have objected to him becoming Deputy Mayor of Padiham for the next civic year.
Although he has only served on the council for 12 months, Coun. Cave said under the rules of standing orders, he should be entitled to hold the post. But, according to Coun. Cave, some members of the council said the rules prevent him being nominated as Deputy Mayor because of the short time he has been a town councillor.
Coun. Cave, who is married to Coun. Sharon Wilkinson, leader of the BNP group in Burnley, said the objection, which he said was made by Coun. Andy Tatchell at a closed meeting of the town council, was actually voiced because of his links to the BNP and not due to the interpretation of the rules. To allay any confusion councillors and the town clerk Mrs Elizabeth Bolton are now waiting for clarification of the rules from Burnley Borough Council’s democracy officers.
“It strikes me as though he is keen to stop me being Mayor,” said Coun. Cave. “It is not supposed to be political, Padiham Town Council is apolitical. It’s because I’m BNP. I’m used to it to a certain extent, you expect it. But I’ve done my damnedest to keep politics out of it.”
Coun. Cave said he is more than equipped for the role after years of experience and would relish the chance to be Mayor of Padiham the following year, after Coun. Bob Clark.
Mrs Bolton added: “The matter is still under review and the democracy team at Burnley Borough Council is assisting the town council in its interpretation of the rules. As soon as we know that, the matter will be put before the full town council.”
A borough council spokesman said: “This is a matter for the town council.”
Coun. Tatchell and current Mayor of Padiham Coun. Jean Cunningham said it would be inappropriate to comment until clarification had been received from the borough council. Padiham Town Council’s next meeting is at Padiham Town Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday.