Worcestershire Tory suspended for six months

Councillor Phil Grove: suspended from Tory group until autumn

Councillor Phil Grove: suspended from Tory group until autumn

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards Exclusive by , Political Reporter

A LEADING Worcestershire councillor has been suspended from his Conservative group for six months, it has emerged.

Councillor Phil Grove, who enraged his party by voting against cuts to the fire service, has been thrown out until September.

The decision means he will have no party political affiliation at Worcestershire County Council during that period, a tactic designed to punish him for not voting with his group.

As your Worcester News revealed on Friday, Cllr Grove decided to break ranks from the Tories at Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority and back the opposition Labour Party to inject an extra £500,000 into the service.

His decision led to a crunch budget amendment being passed by 11 votes to 10, to delay a decision to make £4 million of fire service cuts until June using the cash.

He was warned before the vote to vote with his group, and stopped from entering the Conservative room at County Hall after the vote.

Cllr Grove was unavailable for comment yesterday but the Labour Party now says he is welcome to join them.

Councillor Richard Udall, from Labour, said: "There is always a home for him in the Labour Party, we'd welcome any application.

"I would dearly like to discuss this with him to see if we can test the water."

The Conservative group at County Hall met on Friday and agreed the six month suspension.

Sources say he faces permanent expulsion in the autumn unless he decides to sway the party line over the next few months.

One Tory councillor, who refused to be named, said: "At the time of the fire authority vote he was reminded that he should support the Conservatives because a lengthy process was gone through based on a lot of consultation.

"We have decided to suspend him for six months and he will still be a councillor during that time, but with no political title.

"He won't be aligned to us unless he decides at the end of that period he wants to come back."

Cllr Grove, who was first elected to County Hall last year, is also a member of Malvern Hills District Council, where he used to be the leader between 2009-2012.

It is not expected to impact upon his role there, where he is still part of Malvern Conservatives and is the district's economic development chief.

Comments (21)

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8:54am Tue 4 Mar 14

brooksider says...

What a pathetic way to behave.
Well done to Councillor Grove, the man's got principles.
What a pathetic way to behave. Well done to Councillor Grove, the man's got principles. brooksider
  • Score: 19

8:58am Tue 4 Mar 14

Real Facts says...

Disgusting on so many levels.

Shows the Conservatives to be the underhand spineless scum just like the "Real ones" in Westminster.

Pathetic.
Disgusting on so many levels. Shows the Conservatives to be the underhand spineless scum just like the "Real ones" in Westminster. Pathetic. Real Facts
  • Score: 18

9:23am Tue 4 Mar 14

THE FACTS says...

Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen.

These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services
Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen. These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services THE FACTS
  • Score: -16

9:59am Tue 4 Mar 14

skychip says...

Good for him for standing up for his beliefs.
Good for him for standing up for his beliefs. skychip
  • Score: 17

10:06am Tue 4 Mar 14

The Villan says...

It's pathetic, it's about time these Tory councillors grew up.

This is more akin to school playground behaviour....."you'v
e upset us so you're not in our gang anymore". It beggars belief and people wonder why local politics brings out so few at election times.

Here's your answer.
It's pathetic, it's about time these Tory councillors grew up. This is more akin to school playground behaviour....."you'v e upset us so you're not in our gang anymore". It beggars belief and people wonder why local politics brings out so few at election times. Here's your answer. The Villan
  • Score: 16

10:09am Tue 4 Mar 14

sarah and her chickens says...

Not something that sits easy with me but well done Cllr Grove. Shame the day before he voted to give the MHDC leaders a payrise but that is politicians for you.
If nothing else he has shown up that independent councillors would be far better at local level. All this childish whipping is just a dictatorship .
Hope Phil thinks back to the SWDP and questions if the whip imposed by MHDC conservatives was such a smart thing after all.
Not something that sits easy with me but well done Cllr Grove. Shame the day before he voted to give the MHDC leaders a payrise but that is politicians for you. If nothing else he has shown up that independent councillors would be far better at local level. All this childish whipping is just a dictatorship . Hope Phil thinks back to the SWDP and questions if the whip imposed by MHDC conservatives was such a smart thing after all. sarah and her chickens
  • Score: 7

11:28am Tue 4 Mar 14

liketoknow says...

there's no democracy within a democracy then. makes a bit of a mockery of it all doesn't it .
there's no democracy within a democracy then. makes a bit of a mockery of it all doesn't it . liketoknow
  • Score: 9

2:36pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Casmal says...

What a pity both he and other councillors don't do this more. They should have to guts to stand up to their party and do what os right for their constituents instead. As Sarah said, pity, too he allowed himself to be whipped on the SWDP and misled by MHDC's leadership, who's line was, we must approve the plan, it is the only surefire way to stop unplanned, unwanted, undesirable and inappropriate developments. A line we can now prove is untrue. Not the first time Tories have been pushed into voting on misinformation and sadly not the last, either.
What a pity both he and other councillors don't do this more. They should have to guts to stand up to their party and do what os right for their constituents instead. As Sarah said, pity, too he allowed himself to be whipped on the SWDP and misled by MHDC's leadership, who's line was, we must approve the plan, it is the only surefire way to stop unplanned, unwanted, undesirable and inappropriate developments. A line we can now prove is untrue. Not the first time Tories have been pushed into voting on misinformation and sadly not the last, either. Casmal
  • Score: 1

2:45pm Tue 4 Mar 14

MJI says...

As someone tending towards the centre right national party wised. I will admit I prefer independants locally.
.
They are not bound by party rules, and usually take notice better of their constituents.
.
I find that all local parties have 1 or 2 pillocks in them, so distancing yourself from them is a good idea.
As someone tending towards the centre right national party wised. I will admit I prefer independants locally. . They are not bound by party rules, and usually take notice better of their constituents. . I find that all local parties have 1 or 2 pillocks in them, so distancing yourself from them is a good idea. MJI
  • Score: 4

5:52pm Tue 4 Mar 14

denwood says...

mr groves well done shame others dont have the balls to stand up. really well done sir we should be proud of this man every one of us!!!!
mr groves well done shame others dont have the balls to stand up. really well done sir we should be proud of this man every one of us!!!! denwood
  • Score: 2

5:54pm Tue 4 Mar 14

denwood says...

Casmal wrote:
What a pity both he and other councillors don't do this more. They should have to guts to stand up to their party and do what os right for their constituents instead. As Sarah said, pity, too he allowed himself to be whipped on the SWDP and misled by MHDC's leadership, who's line was, we must approve the plan, it is the only surefire way to stop unplanned, unwanted, undesirable and inappropriate developments. A line we can now prove is untrue. Not the first time Tories have been pushed into voting on misinformation and sadly not the last, either.
lets be fair mhdc are a joke just look what councillors they have now!!!
[quote][p][bold]Casmal[/bold] wrote: What a pity both he and other councillors don't do this more. They should have to guts to stand up to their party and do what os right for their constituents instead. As Sarah said, pity, too he allowed himself to be whipped on the SWDP and misled by MHDC's leadership, who's line was, we must approve the plan, it is the only surefire way to stop unplanned, unwanted, undesirable and inappropriate developments. A line we can now prove is untrue. Not the first time Tories have been pushed into voting on misinformation and sadly not the last, either.[/p][/quote]lets be fair mhdc are a joke just look what councillors they have now!!! denwood
  • Score: 3

7:11pm Tue 4 Mar 14

SgtAl says...

Maybe this is the way forward; politicians representing the best interests of their constituents rather than voting the way the party dictates?

Maybe prospective candidates for political office should be chosen entirely by the constituent, rather than the constituent being told who they can choose from?

Maybe we should abolish party politics?

Nah, it would never work...
Maybe this is the way forward; politicians representing the best interests of their constituents rather than voting the way the party dictates? Maybe prospective candidates for political office should be chosen entirely by the constituent, rather than the constituent being told who they can choose from? Maybe we should abolish party politics? Nah, it would never work... SgtAl
  • Score: 1

8:59pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Wakefieldlass says...

Well done Cllr Grove for voting for what you believe in not what the party line is. Respect from this reader.
Well done Cllr Grove for voting for what you believe in not what the party line is. Respect from this reader. Wakefieldlass
  • Score: 2

10:12pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Jay1981 says...

so let me get this right. this guy is there to have his say. yet his party punish him because he didnt like there idea
tory toffs
so let me get this right. this guy is there to have his say. yet his party punish him because he didnt like there idea tory toffs Jay1981
  • Score: 0

1:07am Wed 5 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

A true example (or lack ) of Tory Democracy in action. And this has been going on for years and years, both locally and Nationalyy and also by Labour.
When David Barlow was leader of the Labour city Council, New Labour (then) councilors had to submit a Media inquiry Form.
So what is the point of voting for ether of the 3 parties who operate this Whip System?
A true example (or lack ) of Tory Democracy in action. And this has been going on for years and years, both locally and Nationalyy and also by Labour. When David Barlow was leader of the Labour city Council, New Labour (then) councilors had to submit a Media inquiry Form. So what is the point of voting for ether of the 3 parties who operate this Whip System? Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

9:14am Wed 5 Mar 14

Real Facts says...

THE FACTS wrote:
Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen.

These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services
This is not a pensions issue.
Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability.
He decided "The Party Line" was wrong.

If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now.
[quote][p][bold]THE FACTS[/bold] wrote: Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen. These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services[/p][/quote]This is not a pensions issue. Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability. He decided "The Party Line" was wrong. If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now. Real Facts
  • Score: 3

12:10pm Wed 5 Mar 14

MJI says...

Jay1981 wrote:
so let me get this right. this guy is there to have his say. yet his party punish him because he didnt like there idea
tory toffs
We all like a rebel who stands against things he disagrees with.
[quote][p][bold]Jay1981[/bold] wrote: so let me get this right. this guy is there to have his say. yet his party punish him because he didnt like there idea tory toffs[/p][/quote]We all like a rebel who stands against things he disagrees with. MJI
  • Score: 1

2:31pm Wed 5 Mar 14

THE FACTS says...

Real Facts wrote:
THE FACTS wrote:
Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen.

These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services
This is not a pensions issue.
Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability.
He decided "The Party Line" was wrong.

If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now.
Yes because it costs too much to fund the retired pensions of the police fire and ambulance staff.

Mr Groves is alleged on a police pension hence his vote against.

Personal interest seems to have an influence in his voting decision
[quote][p][bold]Real Facts[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THE FACTS[/bold] wrote: Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen. These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services[/p][/quote]This is not a pensions issue. Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability. He decided "The Party Line" was wrong. If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now.[/p][/quote]Yes because it costs too much to fund the retired pensions of the police fire and ambulance staff. Mr Groves is alleged on a police pension hence his vote against. Personal interest seems to have an influence in his voting decision THE FACTS
  • Score: -6

7:55pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Facts, No matter whether Coun Groves was a part time Father Christmas even you cannot deny the existance of the Whip in local politics. And as already been said when people go to vote for a local candidate that is exactly what they should do. And Central politics should have no say in local issues.
If anyone needs proof just attend the local City & County Council meetings to witness the pathetic puppet -like performances of the Councillors. However if more public attended and witnessed what happens then perhaps no-one would vote anymore.
Facts, No matter whether Coun Groves was a part time Father Christmas even you cannot deny the existance of the Whip in local politics. And as already been said when people go to vote for a local candidate that is exactly what they should do. And Central politics should have no say in local issues. If anyone needs proof just attend the local City & County Council meetings to witness the pathetic puppet -like performances of the Councillors. However if more public attended and witnessed what happens then perhaps no-one would vote anymore. Jabbadad
  • Score: 5

5:30pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Real Facts says...

THE FACTS wrote:
Real Facts wrote:
THE FACTS wrote:
Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen.

These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services
This is not a pensions issue.
Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability.
He decided "The Party Line" was wrong.

If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now.
Yes because it costs too much to fund the retired pensions of the police fire and ambulance staff.

Mr Groves is alleged on a police pension hence his vote against.

Personal interest seems to have an influence in his voting decision
No.
It has nothing to do with the cost of Fire (already sorted)
Police or Ambulance pensions.
It has all to do with central Government making cuts to service finance based on fatuous facts and here say.

Though Firefighters pensions are an issue it is a SEPARATE ISSUE!
[quote][p][bold]THE FACTS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Real Facts[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THE FACTS[/bold] wrote: Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen. These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services[/p][/quote]This is not a pensions issue. Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability. He decided "The Party Line" was wrong. If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now.[/p][/quote]Yes because it costs too much to fund the retired pensions of the police fire and ambulance staff. Mr Groves is alleged on a police pension hence his vote against. Personal interest seems to have an influence in his voting decision[/p][/quote]No. It has nothing to do with the cost of Fire (already sorted) Police or Ambulance pensions. It has all to do with central Government making cuts to service finance based on fatuous facts and here say. Though Firefighters pensions are an issue it is a SEPARATE ISSUE! Real Facts
  • Score: 0

10:32am Fri 7 Mar 14

MJI says...

THE FACTS wrote:
Real Facts wrote:
THE FACTS wrote:
Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen.

These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services
This is not a pensions issue.
Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability.
He decided "The Party Line" was wrong.

If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now.
Yes because it costs too much to fund the retired pensions of the police fire and ambulance staff.

Mr Groves is alleged on a police pension hence his vote against.

Personal interest seems to have an influence in his voting decision
Calling yourself that does not make it so!
[quote][p][bold]THE FACTS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Real Facts[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]THE FACTS[/bold] wrote: Grove is allegedly an ex police man and could be on the same pension arrangements as the firemen. These pensions are a major cost of providing these public services[/p][/quote]This is not a pensions issue. Because of lack of central Government funding Worcester and Hereford Fire Stations will lose HALF of their Fire and Rescue ability. He decided "The Party Line" was wrong. If he hadn't taken this action the reductions would be happening now.[/p][/quote]Yes because it costs too much to fund the retired pensions of the police fire and ambulance staff. Mr Groves is alleged on a police pension hence his vote against. Personal interest seems to have an influence in his voting decision[/p][/quote]Calling yourself that does not make it so! MJI
  • Score: 0

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