Labour's spring clean kicks out councillors
THE BARKING and Dagenham Labour Party looked set to split in two last week after 13 councillors were de-selected and several others stepped down from next year s elections. The POST received a secret list containing the names of those who were forced out
THE BARKING and Dagenham Labour Party looked set to split in two last week after 13 councillors were de-selected and several others stepped down from next year's elections.
The POST received a secret list containing the names of those who were "forced out" or decided not to stand - some through protest and others due to retirement or work commitments.
Among them are executive members, ex mayors, committee chairpersons and even deputy council leader, Bob Little, who has apparently declared he will not stand in 2010.
According to the list, executive members Val Rush and Jeanne Alexander have been de-selected and fellow cabinet councillor, Graham Bramley, has decided not to stand.
Former mayors, Fred Barns and Emmanuel Obasohan, are also on the list alongside Cllrs Agrawal, Hemmett, McDermott, Pat and Warren Northover, Rawlinson, Vincent, Denyer and Twomey.
Cllr McDermott said: "I will make no comment other than to say that I have been deselected and I am disappointed by the news."
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Several others including; Cllrs Fani, Flint, Fairbrass, Carroll, Nadine Smith and West are retiring or stepping down for work or personal reasons.
Chairman of the development control board, Cllr John Denyer, was deselected because, according to the Labour Party, he does not understand equality issues and is unable to canvass, however this is due to a disability.
He announced his resignation from the Labour Party last week and will now stand as an independent in 2010.
Cllr Denyer told the POST: "I feel disappointed and let down by the Labour Party.
"And the fact they have used my disability as an excuse to de-select me shows them in a very poor light.
"Exactly the same thing has happened to Fred Barns who has been an excellent Thames Ward councillor.
"They are getting rid of ward councillors who have served their party and their community well.
"In their haste to change things the Labour Party has lost a lot of experience.
"I think this will come back to bite them."
Cllr Denyer also raised concerns over the opportunities these de-selections will afford the opposition party.
He added: "The BNP are being given too much freedom to spread fear in the community.
"It is the people of Barking and Dagenham I feel sorry for.
"Hopefully more members will do as I have and stand as independents."
No others councillors could be reached or wanted to speak about their de-selection.
Dominic Twomey, Secretary of the Labour Party's Barking & Dagenham Local Government Committee, told the POST selections were almost complete.
Cllr Bert Collins and Cllr Dee Hunt were both reselected and only Parsloes, Valence and Mayesbrook wards remain to be completed.
Mr Twomey said: "We will be providing full details of all candidates in the near future.
"This has been a borough-wide process and not confined to Barking Labour Party.
"It's important to remember there have been a number of sitting Councillors in Dagenham who have not been selected for a variety of reasons including not wishing to re-stand.
"In Barking, there were only three Councillors who were not selected in the wards where they currently stand and had put themselves forward.
"All other sitting Councillors who had been short-listed did not attend selection meetings in the wards they currently represent.