Leading Worcestershire politician grabs seat on another council - in DEVON

Evesham Journal: Councillor Judy Pearce, Wychavon District Council deputy leader and cabinet member for planning, pictured in the centre Councillor Judy Pearce, Wychavon District Council deputy leader and cabinet member for planning, pictured in the centre

ONE of Worcestershire's most important sitting politicians has been elected to another council - nearly 200 miles away in DEVON.

Councillor Judy Pearce is the current Tory deputy leader of Wychavon District Council and carries a high profile across the county, not least in her work in helping create the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

But your Worcester News can reveal how she decided to stand for election at South Hams District Council last month, and was duly elected.

The veteran councillor owns a house in Thurlestone, a stunning coastal location in south Devon, and won a by-election contest.

Rival politicians say the move "beggars belief" and have labelled it "bizarre", but she has not broken any rules.

The two locations are 184 miles apart and are around three-and-a-half hours away by car.

Cllr Pearce sold her old Wychavon property, which was near Dodderhill, some time ago and on her register of members' interests now rents a flat in Pershore as well as owning the Devon property.

As well as being the deputy leader in Wychavon, the biggest council in Worcestershire, she is the cabinet member for planning, infrastructure housing.

She insists her split duties are manageable, and says it has the blessing of Wychavon's Tory leadership, despite being based in Devon.

"I bought a house in Devon in March last year and I've been travelling back and forth since then, it hasn't caused me any problems," she said.

"I can do it in three hours. It's all legal and above board and I'm planning to step down at Wychavon District Council next year anyway at the elections.

"A by-election came up down here and I thought 'I want to go for it' - it's a new challenge and I'm back and forth all the time."

Councillor Peter Pinfield, a Labour councillor in Wychavon, said: "It's bizarre - there's obviously nothing to stop you doing it but I find it quite strange.

"She's the deputy leader here, how can she properly represent two organisations 180 miles apart?

"Considering she holds such an important position it beggars belief."

But the council's leader, Councillor Paul Middlebrough, said he has "no issues" with it.

"She travels back three or four times a week and pays for that herself," he said.

"She is doing a first class job for me, she was elected properly and is on the electoral register in Devon."

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:15pm Fri 13 Jun 14

brooksider says...

Didn't we have one living in the USA a few years ago?
Didn't we have one living in the USA a few years ago? brooksider
  • Score: 4

2:53pm Fri 13 Jun 14

althom says...

Is there no shame with these councillors, happily accepting double attendance allowances no doubt!
Is there no shame with these councillors, happily accepting double attendance allowances no doubt! althom
  • Score: 7

3:10pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Tony Pingree says...

Wow

A politician that selflessly gives her time to two different councils just for the benefit of the people she serves.

And how reassuring that we know that she's not breaking any rules.

It's almost unbelievable..
Wow A politician that selflessly gives her time to two different councils just for the benefit of the people she serves. And how reassuring that we know that she's not breaking any rules. It's almost unbelievable.. Tony Pingree
  • Score: 8

8:31pm Fri 13 Jun 14

thompson9100 says...

180 miles in 3 hours flat. Ok, there's the motorway, but I can't imagine that sticking to the speed limits she'd average that speed sit to die. Is that legal then!??!
180 miles in 3 hours flat. Ok, there's the motorway, but I can't imagine that sticking to the speed limits she'd average that speed sit to die. Is that legal then!??! thompson9100
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Fri 13 Jun 14

skychip says...

Not giving her best to either authority. She must be tired with all that driving every week.
Not giving her best to either authority. She must be tired with all that driving every week. skychip
  • Score: 1

9:11am Sat 14 Jun 14

Norman Hepple says...

skychip how do you know she doesn't give her best ? I drive about 200miles a day and hold down two jobs.
I havent been sacked yet
skychip how do you know she doesn't give her best ? I drive about 200miles a day and hold down two jobs. I havent been sacked yet Norman Hepple
  • Score: 3

7:13pm Sat 14 Jun 14

liketoknow says...

I was almost expecting the name Alan Amos to come up.
I was almost expecting the name Alan Amos to come up. liketoknow
  • Score: 1

8:31pm Sat 14 Jun 14

3thinker says...

liketoknow wrote:
I was almost expecting the name Alan Amos to come up.
I'm sure His Worshipfulness, the Right-Left-Right Dishonourable would be delighted to 'officiate' in South Hams. Its an excellent place for a holiday!
[quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: I was almost expecting the name Alan Amos to come up.[/p][/quote]I'm sure His Worshipfulness, the Right-Left-Right Dishonourable would be delighted to 'officiate' in South Hams. Its an excellent place for a holiday! 3thinker
  • Score: 2

8:35pm Sat 14 Jun 14

reflector says...

It just goes to show how some of these councillors view their role. It's not just about attending meetings - it should be getting out and about and getting the feel of what the people she is supposed to represent want of her and the Council. To try to do that serving two entirely different communities 180 miles apart is ludicrous.

It might be legal but it is wrong.
It just goes to show how some of these councillors view their role. It's not just about attending meetings - it should be getting out and about and getting the feel of what the people she is supposed to represent want of her and the Council. To try to do that serving two entirely different communities 180 miles apart is ludicrous. It might be legal but it is wrong. reflector
  • Score: 3

6:23pm Sun 15 Jun 14

DarrenM says...

Are people aware there are devices to allow communication over large distances instantly now? Has the telegraph reached Worcestershire yet? I heard a rumour that the railway could be coming next, and have you seen those big metal birds in the sky?
Are people aware there are devices to allow communication over large distances instantly now? Has the telegraph reached Worcestershire yet? I heard a rumour that the railway could be coming next, and have you seen those big metal birds in the sky? DarrenM
  • Score: -2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

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