Don't miss a story sign up to the North Somerset Times FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Accusations of lies and skulduggery

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 February 2011 | UPDATED: 11:59 17 February 2011

Carl Francis-Pester

Carl Francis-Pester

Archant

ACCUSATIONS of lies and skulduggery have been made by angry North Somerset Conservatives after two top Tories were removed from their posts after ‘serious allegations’ were made against them.

"Many members expressed disgust they should be lied to."

Councillor Don Cameron

At a heated meeting of the North Somerset Conservative Association on Friday, members condemned the treatment of the association’s former president and North Somerset councillor Carl Francis-Pester and former chairman Christopher Allcock.

Earlier this month, they were removed from their positions after accusations were made regarding the purchase and resale of a minibus and the hiring of a room at the Nailsea Conservative office.

On Friday, many supporters of the pair shouted down area chairman, Peter Wright, who tried to explain the reasons behind their removal and Richard Chalk, sent from the party’s central office in London, did not fare much better.

Councillor Don Cameron from Portishead was at Friday’s meeting and has accused the association of lies and skulduggery. He said: “It was apparent to all that these reasons were spurious and the real reason for the draconian measures was not being disclosed. Many members expressed disgust they should be lied to.”

"In a court of law your accuser will be made public. Clearly we are not going to get that.
Whatever one thinks about the substance of the issues, clearly the matter has been processed with a degree of ineptitude very rarely seen.
"

Councillor Carl Francis-Pester

Some have speculated the complaints were made to scupper the chances of Cllr Francis-Pester, a North Somerset Councillor for Easton-in-Gordano and a Clevedon town councillor, regaining his seat in May’s local elections.

Cllr Francis-Pester said: “I wouldn’t want credit who ever made the complaint with such organisational prowess.

“What looked like an easy hit initially has now become a lot more complicated for them.”

At Friday’s meeting, members refused to ratify a list of candidates for the forthcoming elections when it became clear Cllr Francis-Pester’s name had been omitted.

Cllr Francis-Pester has since confirmed he will stand for re-election if allowed and he hopes to resume his duties as North Somerset Council’s executive member for the environment by the end of this week after temporarily stepping down.

However, Cllr Francis-Pester has been told the unitary authority leader Councillor Nigel Ashton has approached a Portishead resident to ask if they would contest Cllr Francis-Pester’s seat in May’s elections.

Since the complaints were first made against Cllr Francis-Pester and Mr Allcock, the Tory association has been accused of acting unprofessionally. The person who made the accusations has also remained anonymous.

During Friday’s meeting, Cllr Ashton and fellow North Somerset councillor Felicity Baker were asked if they had made the complaint. Both said no.

Cllr Francis-Pester said: “In a court of law your accuser will be made public. Clearly we are not going to get that.

“What is of great concern is that we are not fully aware of what it is we are actually answering.

“Whatever one thinks about the substance of the issues, clearly the matter has been processed with a degree of ineptitude very rarely seen.”

Cllr Francis-Pester and Mr Allcock believe they have fully explained their decisions and hope the matter has been resolved. Despite this, it is not yet known if and when the men will be reinstated by the association.

* Cllr Ashton and the Conservative association could not be contacted in relation to this story.

Related articles

1 comment

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 13:58

A person who was hit by a train earlier today (Tuesday) has died.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:02

An Easter trail will be held in Portishead in April to raise money for Operation Josh.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:43

Clevedon’s George Shelley will appear in an episode of Benidorm this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:32

Train services between Bristol and North Somerset are running as normal this afternoon following the death of someone near Nailsea and Backwell Railway Station at lunchtime.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:58

North Somerset Council has given Yatton Parish Council permission to carry out tests on a potential new cemetery site, after years of uncertainty about the project’s future.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Wheelchairs and hospital beds were wheeled up and down a school playground as pupils raised money for good causes.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

A chiropractor clinic could open at the site of a former playgroup and café in the centre of Clevedon.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:03

Great Western Railway has confirmed a person has been hit by a train at Nailsea and Backwell station today (Tuesday).

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Weston Hospicecare, which provides care to people with life-limiting illnesses, has appointed a new chief executive.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:46

Traffic is queueing on the motorway this morning (Tuesday) after an earlier accident between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the North Somerset Times e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Clevedon Tide report

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder

Find planning applications