Accusations of lies and skulduggery

15:00 16 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

52 minutes ago
New type of service called all sorts.

A church in Nailsea is offering a unique new service for people of all ages.

Read more
12:00
Community choir

A cancer charity’s choir has received a £1,000 donation from a group of Freemasons.

Read more
11:00
Out of school children's club making fish shapes out of willow.

Youngsters at a Clevedon out of school club have been creating fish shapes out of wood.

Read more
06:58
Brian Crabb with his new book.

A Portishead author has had his sixth book published.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
Emma Brock and Sam Toogood.

Doves were released as a Tickenham woman tied the knot at her wedding ceremony this month.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00
Gavel

A national auctioneering firm will visit Clevedon next week.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Wilfred Dolby Fuller

An inspirational account of a man’s journey from fighting in World War One to becoming Clevedon’s policeman has been penned in a biography.

Read more
Fri, 16:00
Danielle Hill and her crew.

A Clevedon teenager has completed a 600-mile round trip as part of a sailing challenge.

Read more
Fri, 13:00
Morrisons to the Moon 1

Hundreds of pounds have been raised by a Clevedon supermarket for its charity of the year.

Read more
Fri, 09:37
View of Backwell Railway Station.

PEOPLE travelling to and from North Somerset could face issues this weekend as rail workers prepare for strike action.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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


Somerset's trusted business finder