October 24, 2019 10.45 am This story is over 32 months old

Second councillor in days steps down from Boston’s leading party

Councillor Shaun Blackman followed in the footsteps of the authority’s tourism portfolio holder

Boston is set to face two by-elections after a second Conservative councillor stepped down this week – just days after one of the borough council’s top dogs departed.

Councillor Shaun Blackman, who oversaw Kirton and Frampton ward, handed his resignation in to leader of Boston Borough Council Councillor Aaron Spencer.

His step-down follows former tourism cabinet member Alistair Arundell last week, with both blaming “personal” circumstances and time commitments.

Mr Blackman said he had “deep regret” but that he “sadly” felt he could “no longer continue”.

“The time needed for the role is greater than I have available, and I feel I can not give the dedication and commitment required to provide an effective level of service and effectiveness to the residents of my elected ward.”

Both councillors’ resignations come just five months after they were first elected to the authority in May’s local elections.

Councillor Blackman came second in his ward with 571 of the 2,397 votes case. He was joined by Independent councillor Peter Watson, who pipped him to the post with 873 votes and third placed Conservative Nigel Welton who secured 511.

Councillor Arundell took the third available seat in his Skirbeck ward with 307 of the 2,736 votes cast. He came behind independent councillors Anne Dorrian (412) and Colin Woodcock (512).

Councillor Aaron Spencer said he was “saddened” by the decisions.

He said: “Shaun was a committed and devoted person, whose support and loyalty has been highly valued, however his decision to resign is understandable, due to wanting to spend time with his family.

Former councillor and cabinet member for tourism Alistair Arundell stepped down last week. He is pictured (right) with council leader Aaron Spencer and Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman.

“Alistair has been a key part in the leadership of the council and influence into the regeneration and revitalisation of our town through his position as portfolio holder for tourism, arts, heritage and events.

“Alistair’s enthusiasm and commitment to the town mirrored my own and he will be hugely missed.”

The departures leave the council with a make-up of 15 Conservatives, two Labour, six Independents and five Bostonian Independent Group. It means if the vacancies go to other parties or independents Conservatives will lose their two seat majority.

A date for a by-election for the two wards will be set in due course.

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