Local Conservative Andrew Atkinson has declared he will be standing in the forthcoming General Election via a statement to ‘Gresford friends’ – and tackles the question of what happens if he also get elected to Wrexham Council.
In the letter posted online this evening, Mr Atkinson states: “The other day it shocked me that a General Election was called. I believed that this would be in 2020. I’m passionate about improving both Gresford and Wrexham and I would not be being upfront if I didn’t tell you right now my intention to stand in the General Election.”
Unsurprisingly he says this is a ‘good thing’ for Gresford, pointing out that although there is ‘no guarantee that I will be elected as your councillor on May 4th and no guarantee that if I stand for Parliament thereafter that I would win’, but states a position of winning both would be unsustainable for one of the two jobs.
Although not stating a timeframe nor which job would be given up if he was successful in the two elections, Mr Atkinson says he will give up one of the wages – the lower £13k as Councillor not the £74k for MP’s: “Both of course would not be sustainable in the long-term but could be done for a while, and I would donate all of my councillor allowance to the village whilst continuing to work hard for our community.”
As we have documented before some councillors have used the rule where they can forgo all or part of their pay, or pay rises yet this is the first time we have seen a wage earmarked in whole to a specific village.
There is some precedent for this stance, with local councillor Arfon Jones winning the Police and Crime Commissioner election, and rather than calling a sudden and expensive by-election he has seen out the end of his term and is not re-standing. That however that was for a year, and we are told he waived the reminder of his councillor pay rather than donating it to Gwersyllt.
Mr Atkinson’s soft General Election campaign appeared to kick off today with Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, hitting the streets by his side complete with TV film crew in tow.
Pic: A previous election battle, Lucas v Atkinson, via the medium of paintbrushes and scrapers.