I have an update on the sad case of our local councillor Shan Alexander. To recap, she pleaded guilty to causing the death of a passenger in her car last year. I said in a blog posting here that I recognised her contribution to the community, but felt on balance that she should step back from public life.
It seemed strange too that there was very little public debate about the case and why there appeared to be no statement from the council one way or the other. I wrote to Dave Goddard, the leader of Stockport Borough Council, and asked him whether he supported her continued tenure.
Here is his reply:
"I am happy to clarify that I and the entire Liberal Democrat team continue to support Cllr Shan Alexander 100% in the excellent work she has done over many years for various communities in Stockport.
"You may wish to be aware of legislation that provides under section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 a person may be disqualified for being elected or being a member of a local authority if he: is employed by the local authority; has been declared bankrupt or made a composition or arrangement with his creditors; has within five years before the election or since being elected been convicted of an offence and has been sentenced to not less than three months imprisonment without the option of a fine; or is disqualified under any enactment relating to corrupt or illegal practices (under Part III of the Representation of the People Act 1983).
"Cllr Alexander has not been convicted of any part of that legislation and therefore has no need in my opinion to consider her position."
I do find his loyalty to a friend and colleague very commendable, but haven't changed my view. She really should stand down and that is all I have to say on the matter.