November 30, 2021 2.54 pm

West Lindsey council’s jailed leader seat up for grabs as candidates ready for by-election

Four candidates vie for votes

A scandal-hit council has confirmed the candidates who will stand in an election to replace the seat left by its jailed former leader.

West Lindsey District Council will hold its vote to decide who will take the Nettleham seat, previously held by disgraced former Conservative Giles McNeill, on Thursday, December 16.

Mr McNeill was last week jailed for 14 months after admitting eight theft, fraud and forgery charges totalling £31,201.04 from his own party over a six year period.

Mr McNeill resigned as leader of the council in September 2020, prior to the allegations coming to light, and was later removed from his chosen party, but sat as an independent in the ward until a month prior to his sentencing.

According to documents on WLDC’s website the candidates for his seat are:

  • Ben Loryman, Green Party
  • Jess McGuire, Labour Party
  • Jaime Oliver, Liberal Democrat
  • Maureen Palmer, Conservative

Announcing his candidacy on Twitter, Ben Loryman said he wanted WLDC to declare a climate emergency, introduce a policy for planting (and caring for) more trees, and provide the best possible support for people to save hundreds on their energy bills by insulating their homes.

Jess’ candidate leaflet calls for new homes in the village to be “affordable for all” and calls for better social care support for elderly residents. She wants increased investment in community events and is campaigning for streetlights to be switched back on.

Jaime’s main focuses are on offering better bus services, controlling speeding traffic, ensuring vulnerable people are not isolated, improving access to healthcare and encouraging respectful parking. Her leaflet focuses on opposing changes to the planning process and action on climate and the environment.

The Conservatives, who last week said they were “looking forward positively and working to overcome” the damage Mr McNeill caused, said Maureen had a passion for children’s education, their welfare and development along with the environment, maintaining and improving the area. They said she wanted to protect communities from unsuitable development.

Residents have until midnight tonight (Tuesday, November 30) to register to vote online.

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