Saturday, 2 August 2014

Lib Dem councillor for Fareham lives in Saudi Arabia

The leader of the Lib Dems in Fareham, Cllr Paul Whittle, has been called on to resign after taking a job in Saudi Arabia a fortnight before the elections in May and failing to turn up for a Local Government Association conference after the council had spent nearly £600 on a ticket for him to attend.

Cllr Whittle has been defended by his fellow Lib Dem councillor, Katrina Trott, who says that it's just the Conservatives trying to cause trouble and Cllr Whittle can still do his £180k a year job whilst living and working in another country 4,000 miles and a 12 hour flight away. Whittle claims to have told the council before he took the job that he wouldn't be able to go to the conference but the council says that's not true.

Back in April last year the newly elected Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh, Mike Thornton, celebrated his narrow victory over UKIP by visiting Fareham to support Cllr Whittle and his Lib Dem colleague, Cllr David Norris, in their campaign to stop Hampshire County Council wasting money. At the time Cllr Whittle told local paper, the News:
In these tough times we know that every penny counts. We don’t need pet projects while our basic services are being lost. Hampshire County Council is out of touch and it is time they started listening to the people of Fareham.
Cllr Whittle doesn't need to count his pennies, the job he took in Saudi Arabia was advertised at £180k a year - considerably more than the £459 per week average wage in Hampshire. He accuses Hampshire County Council of being out of touch but at least they're in the same country, not 4,000 miles away.

UKIP Fareham Borough Councillor and Hampshire County Councillor, Chris Wood, said:
Someone working in Saudi Arabia will find it difficult to hold the Conservative administration to account.