Cllr Sam Townend (Prince's, Kennington) still receiving councillor money?

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Voroni, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Voroni

    Voroni New Member

    Apologies if this has already been discussed elsewhere, but I heard that Councillor Sam Townend in Prince's ward had disappeared to attempt to stand as an MP in Bristol but was still receiving money for being a councillor here.

    Does anyone know the story on that one?
  2. se5

    se5 Well-Known Member

    Yes he has been selected as Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for a constituency in Bristol - see - he is still representing Princes ward on Lambeth Council and attending meetings as far as I know so is entitled to claim his allowances
  3. Voroni

    Voroni New Member

    Thank you very much for the reply.

    Presumably, if he is still attending meetings, isn't it the case that his performance might be impaired by standing as an MP elsewhere? Are there any rules on such matters?
  4. se5

    se5 Well-Known Member

    According to his website he lives in Henleaze, Bristol -

    Doing a bit more poking around it seems he is still a barrister in London so thats a rather long commute, I wonder how he has time for Lambeth too?

    As far as I know there arent any rules about having to live in the area you represent as long as you attend the main council meetings (monthly?) but I imagine his mind isnt always on Lambeth matters!

    There is some talk about this on the web, eg see and the local Tories arent very happy:
  5. joevsimp

    joevsimp Well-Known Member

    you do have to live in and be on the electoral roll of the borough/district that you are standing for election to, not sure if there's any requirement to resign your seat if you move. Serious parliamentary candidate from outside the area generally move there before the campaign, but you'd be perfectly entitled to stand in Orkney and Shetland even if you live in the Scilly Isles
  6. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    AFAIK the rule is still that you won't get disqualified and chucked off the Council so long as you attend a single meeting once every six months.
  7. Voroni

    Voroni New Member

    Does that mean that Mr.Townend is only attending one meeting every six months? Or is he doing more than that?

    How much money is he receiving?
  8. se5

    se5 Well-Known Member

    its probably better to ask him these questions yourself: have you tried contacting him ? His contact details will be on the Council website as will details of his attendance at council meetings. Councillor Townend is entitled to the basic councillors' allowance of £10,212 (paid to all councillors) which I assume he claims.
  9. Voroni

    Voroni New Member

    OK, email sent today. I will let you know if I receive a response.

    His email address is listed here:

    Correspondence Address:
    Lambeth Town Hall
    SW2 1RW

    Bus. Phone: 020 7820 9002


    Email as follows:

    Dear Mr.Townend,

    I understand that you are currently a councillor in Prince's ward but also a prospective MP in Bristol. How is it possible for you to combine both roles? What are the rules on combining both roles? How much money do you receive as a councillor and what are your duties and responsibilities?

    Regards, etc.
  10. Voroni

    Voroni New Member

    His surgery details are as follows so I might pop in and have a chat:

    1st Saturday of the month: 10-11am Durning Library (Kennington Lane, London, SE11 4HF)
    3rd Saturday of the month: 10-11am Durning Library (Kennington Lane, London, SE11 4HF)
  11. Cloo

    Cloo Surfeit of lampreys

    I believe that the leader of Barnet council is standing as Tory candidate for Finchley, so it's not exceptional for a counsellor to stand as MP. I think things may only change if they get elected.

    For the last few months of his council 'career' my dad was actually living and working in Kaliningrad, Russia, but made it back for some meetings (he'd given up all his frontbench stuff by then, though). So Bristol's not a long stretch in comparison!
  12. se5

    se5 Well-Known Member

    Its been going on all the time and its something that local papers like to highlight -
    eg like these Merton councillors -

    Of course in the olden (pre internet) days people often didnt used to know about it so much as long as councillors turned up for surgeries and full council meetings no-one need ever know but now you can search google and find all sorts of interesting things!

    You could argue that the internet, mobile phones, blackberries etc mean that a councillor doesnt actually have to live in the area he/she is representing as they can do it all remotely.
  13. greenfox

    greenfox Member

    I have heard rumours that Mr Townend is planning on standing down as a lambeth councillor at some point to concentrate fully on Bristol
  14. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    I've also heard those rumours. But I don't think that the Lambeth Labour party will let him go if they think they might lose the resulting by-election.

    [You would have thought an overall of thirteen would be enough, or even eleven if they did lose a by-election, but I also hear the Labour whips are sometimes finding it difficult to get a number of other backbenchers enthused to turn up to vote for cuts and housing rent rises etc.]
  15. Bob

    Bob Rusesabagina for a nobel

    Well he has been candidate in Bristol for two years. So it's presumably not on grounds of principle. :D
  16. Voroni

    Voroni New Member

    Eight days have elapsed since I sent my email to Mr.Townend but I have not yet received a response.

    So I have sent it again.
  17. badnewswade

    badnewswade freak-out wierdo

    My ears are burning! I'm from Bristol...

    Bristol's a classic MP-parachuting rotten burough so I wouldn't be surprised if they were gonna drop him into a seat in our town, who gives a crap about what he knows about the area or local people, this is Nu Labour, right? New "show me the money" Labour. Yeah.

    Hey, look at it this way, he's our problem now! :rolleyes:
  18. Bristol Boy

    Bristol Boy New Member

    SE1 said: According to his website he lives in Henleaze, Bristol

    his second home is actually in Westbury-on-Trym ward. Maybe if he spent a bit more time there he might get to know his new constituency a bit better!
  19. greenfox

    greenfox Member

    It seems its better to email him in Bristol - I dropped a line to highlighting the discussion here and suggesting that he might like to reply. today I got back the reponse:

    Thank you.

    I will gladly try to assist with case work, lobbying etc. in Bristol North West and in Princes Ward. Let me know if there is anything of substance that I can help with.

    Kind Regards,

    Sam Townend

    So thats alright then!

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