Bournville Councillor Phil Walkling (Labour) has lost his election seat and is to step down with immediate effect due to ill health.
Cllr Walkling had previously said he would stand down in May this year but now Birmingham City Council have said he has lost his seat due to lack of attendance at council meetings since last summer.
Mary Locke, who will be the Labour candidate for Bournville Ward in May’s elections said: “Recently, Phil discovered that due to an administrative oversight his absence had not been properly recorded. As a result of this, the council has announced he will formally be losing his seat today (22 March), a short time before he was due to stand down at the local elections in May.”
In a message to voters in Bournville, Cllr Walkling said: “Some of you will know that I had an accident last year and was in hospital for three months afterwards, but I really hoped I would be able to resume my council work when I recovered. The local Labour Party, council leaders and our MP Steve McCabe have all been enormously supportive and stepped in to ensure my council work was covered and Bournville constituents continued to receive help with their problems.
“It was decided that I needed an operation after I left hospital but the operation was delayed several times because of NHS pressures which worsened my condition and meant my recovery is taking much longer than expected. Unfortunately, because of an administrative oversight my illness was not properly recorded and this error has resulted in my losing my council seat shortly before I was due to stand down at the forthcoming election.
“I am extremely proud to have been your Councillor and very sorry that I have not been well enough to take up the reins again. However, I am pleased that Bournville Labour Party have a wonderful candidate in Mary Locke and I know that if she is elected she will do everything she can for local people.”
Cllr Walkling’s departure was officially confirmed at a meeting of the Council Business Management Committee on March 22nd.
Good to see the Tories trying to make capital from someone’s illness. In the latest Tory missive I have just had through my door. They added a very inflammatory article about ex Cllr Walking, using terms such as ‘Humiliation’, they at no point mention the poor bugger was on long term sick. Is this just sour grapes on Mr Dawkin’s part that it was ex Cllr Walking that beat him last time out….
I have just had the same ‘newsletter’ poked through my door. Funny how the Tory saintly trio can be the eyes and ears for us poor Bournville folk, yet fail to be aware that a fellow councillor is ill. Shocking. Labour just gained 3 votes at this house.
I too have just read the Tory propagandist leaflet. Of course I was immediately suspicious of their comment about Phil Walking and it didn’t take much digging to uncover the truth. I am in total agreement with the comments above. It shows just how low these Tory councillors are prepared to go to capitalise on every positive incident that happens in the area and to play dirty politics regarding anything negative. It shows how lacking they are in any moral standards and has further confirmed my long held low opinion of them.