Calls for Southend councillor to resign over ‘nimbys’ slur

Furious residents are calling for a Southend councillor to resign after lodging official complaints about being branded “small minded Nimbys”.

Two complaints against Ron Woodley, Residents First councillor for Thorpe Ward, were upheld by the standards board after a hearing on Wednesday.

Cllr Woodley levelled the “not in my backyard” acronym at residents who opposed a 20mph scheme in Thorpe ward.

The insult came as the former deputy leader of the council presented his scheme to cabinet in January last year.

The scheme, which also included a number of speed humps and raised tables, was dropped in December.

Following the standards board finding, Cllr Woodley said: “It was a farce. It was a stitch up. They wouldn’t let me present any evidence and they had made their minds up. They upheld two complaints. One that I shouldn’t have presented the 20mph scheme because I live in the ward. I do live in the ward. What do they want me to do about that?

“I was given the advice by the then council legal advisor that as long as I declare it as non-pecuniary, I do not have an interest because I live in the ward and everywhere in the ward was being done but they ignored that and said I shouldn’t have done it. Total rubbish.

“The other one was that I called people who don’t want a 20mph safer neighbourhoods scheme nimbys. In my mind they are still nimbys.”

Andrew Hall helped launch the Thorpe Bay Residents’ Association during the 20mph campaign and is set to stand as an Independent in May’s elections.

He said: “I think it’s time he resigned is my honest opinion. After what’s gone on, I just think enough is enough.

“At the end of the day this makes no difference because this has no teeth. All they can do is that it’s a matter of public record that he’s breached and done what he shouldn’t have done. Even if they say he has got to do training – if he doesn’t turn up, there’s nothing they can do.”

The road scheme would have been funded with a £500,000 Department for Transport grant. The money will be used for other road safety schemes across the city.

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter