Snap by-election rapped after Ramsbottom councillor quits

First published in News

A DECISION to stage a snap by-election, after the resignation of a Ramsbottom councillor, has been slammed by the opposition.

Coun Joanne Columbine has stepped down from the seat she won for Labour three years ago, when she beat Conservative Robert Hodkinson after drawing straws, after receiving an equal number of votes.

Coun Columbine, who sat on Bury’s planning committee and has been deputy cabinet culture member, has said she wants to spend more time with her husband, who works in Dubai.

But her Tory rivals have questioned the merits – and cost – of staging a by-election for her seat on March 6, as borough-wide polls are destined for early May.

Speaking of her decision Coun Columbine said: “We both have been spending time apart in the past few years and it wasn’t suiting either of us. This decision is about me and my family. I simply want to be with the people I love. I am indebted to the people of Ramsbottom for voting me in. This wasn’t an easy decision.”

The councillor recently sparked controversy after she criticised a knitting campaign, backed by Tory councillors in Welwyn Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and local Conservative MP Grant Shapps, to provide hats to troops in Afganistan.

Council leader Coun Mike Connolly has paid tribute to her contribution to the borough and wished her well for the future.

Coun Ian Bevan, who also represents Ramsbottom alongside Labour’s Luise Fitzwalter, echoed Coun Connolly’s sentiments.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:31pm Fri 24 Jan 14

pwitch says...

I hope she finds herself well in Dubai. They have some strict laws there I understand. If I was really nasty I would comment that she is doing her best to make problems for the Conservatives but it could backfire on her perhaps.
I hope she finds herself well in Dubai. They have some strict laws there I understand. If I was really nasty I would comment that she is doing her best to make problems for the Conservatives but it could backfire on her perhaps. pwitch
  • Score: -2

11:00am Sat 25 Jan 14

woolywords says...

Mrs Colubine is to be lauded rather than lambasted, as she has put her marriage vows before her election promises. She couldn't possibly given due attention to her constituents whilst in Dubai and has done the right thing by all concerned.
It is to be hoped that her replacement is prepared to adhere to the same principles that she has displayed here. She's going to be a tough act to follow.
Mrs Colubine is to be lauded rather than lambasted, as she has put her marriage vows before her election promises. She couldn't possibly given due attention to her constituents whilst in Dubai and has done the right thing by all concerned. It is to be hoped that her replacement is prepared to adhere to the same principles that she has displayed here. She's going to be a tough act to follow. woolywords
  • Score: 1

11:53am Sat 25 Jan 14

Excluded again says...

I agree with woolywords. Often we read stories about Councillors who move out of the area clinging onto their seats, claiming allowances and saying they can represent their constituents from hundreds of miles away. Such Councillors are, rightly, criticised.

So when a Councillor resigns their seat as soon as it becomes apparent that they are moving out of their area, then they should be congratulated not criticised.
I agree with woolywords. Often we read stories about Councillors who move out of the area clinging onto their seats, claiming allowances and saying they can represent their constituents from hundreds of miles away. Such Councillors are, rightly, criticised. So when a Councillor resigns their seat as soon as it becomes apparent that they are moving out of their area, then they should be congratulated not criticised. Excluded again
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree