Anger as party bars ‘fantastic’ councillor

Stefan Oliver is angry after being de-selected by the conservative at county and suspects his number is up at borough in 2 years as well
Stefan Oliver is angry after being de-selected by the conservative at county and suspects his number is up at borough in 2 years as well

HIS family entererd politics after falling out with the King – now more than 300 years later, Stefan Oliver is again battling the ruling elite.

The 72-year-old Suffolk county councillor for Bury St Edmunds, who has represented the Tower Division for 10 years, has been told he is being deselected, barring him from standing as a Conservative in the town.

“I’m not pleased at all,” said Cllr Oliver. “Nothing has been said to me that would justify this decision.”

The news, he said, was broken to him in a telephone call from the chairman of the Bury Conservative Association Andrew Speed.

Mr Speed told the Free Press: “The situation was that we were faced with 18 strong candidates for 11 county council districts.

“Stefan has a fantastic public service track record at local and borough level. The interview panel felt that a fresh approach at county council level was needed.”

Cllr Oliver, who is also a Conservative councillor on St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Bury Town Council, is now facing a dilemma as to whether to stand as an independent, but admits its ‘not likely to happen’.

Instead, he is likely to revive his career as a glass engraver.

He is also worried that the Conservative Association could deselect him from the borough council in two years’ time.

“I have done the best I can for the people I represent. My family has done so for the last five centuries. I have been very pleased and proud to continue that tradition.”

Cllr Oliver said he was the sixth generation of his family to be mayor in the town since 1750.

“Before that, they had been mayors of Sudbury for two generations. They were orginally in Bury but fell out with the King.

“That seems to be our forte.”

He said he had received a lot of support from his constituents since being deselected – among them is Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants.

“He has been a good councillor to us. Not only does he help with his locality funding but he also comes to our events and meetings,” said Mr Broom.

“I don’t know how these selections work – politicians work in mysterious ways – but it is a shame that we are losing him.”