Conservative Town Councillor resigns following poor attendance

Bradley Stoke Town Council.

A Conservative Councillor who had attended just two Council meetings since being elected in May 2011, has resigned from Bradley Stoke Town Council.

Barry Mitchell, who held one of two seats assigned to the Meadowbank parish ward, says he made the decision for “personal reasons” after finding he didn’t have the time to carry out his civic responsibilities.

Speaking to The Journal, Mr Mitchell, a self-employed taxi driver, said:

“It was a difficult decision made for personal and professional reasons.”

“I felt I couldn’t commit enough time to carry out my responsibilities and didn’t want to let anyone down.”

He added that he would continue to support the Conservatives by offering to deliver leaflets for them “for the foreseeable future”.

A notice advertising a ‘casual’ Councillor vacancy was posted on the Town Council website last Friday. A by-election could potentially be held to fill the vacancy, but only if ten people call for one before 26th July. Otherwise, the vacancy will be filled by ‘co-option’, a process in which the remaining Councillors appoint a person of their own choosing.

In the May 2011 elections, the Conservatives won all 15 seats on Bradley Stoke Town Council. Following the latest resignation and two earlier defections, the Council is presently made up of twelve Conservatives and two UKIP members.

Two previous Town Councillor resignations in Bradley Stoke, in 2008 and 2009 (both also in the Meadowbank ward) resulted in by-elections being held, each costing local taxpayers several thousand pounds.

The resignation of Caroline Charlton (Conservative) in 2008, led to Jon Williams (Lib Dem) returning to the Town Council, after defeating Paul Turner (Conservative) in a by-election.

David Skeet’s (Conservative) resignation in 2009 saw him replaced with fellow Stoke Gifford resident Ernie Brown (Conservative), who beat Sachin Singhal (Lib Dem) at the ballot box.

Jon Williams subsequently failed to gain re-election to the Town Council in the May 2011 elections, while Ernie Brown chose to contest a seat in Stoke Gifford, where he now chairs the Parish Council.

Newly-elected Bradley Stoke Town Council members.

Photo: Newly-elected Councillors at the AGM of Bradley Stoke Town Council in May 2011 (Barry Mitchell did not attend).

Mr Mitchell took four months to attend his first Council meeting following his election in May 2011 – that was the meeting of Full Council on 21st September 2011. The only other meeting he attended was Full Council on 18th January 2012, where the minutes record that he left shortly after the meeting had commenced.

The Meadowbank parish ward includes, amongst other roads, Kemperleye Way, Hawkins Crescent, Snowberry Close and Diana Gardens.

Share this page:


  1. After the frustrations of being a single Lib Dem on a previous Town Council and seeing the way that the ruling Tories excluded me from any important meeting I won’t be standing in this by-election.

    I’ve seen many postings from individuals who criticised the Tories for the way they’re running things, so now is the time to “put up or shut up”. Let’s see a genuine Independant candidate stand up and be counted. Anyone who does gets my vote (although I don’t actually live in the Meadowbank ward!!)

  2. Let’s face it, being on call as a taxi driver was never going to be compatible with the role of a councillor, was it? … “Sorry, gotta go, pick up in ten minutes from Parkway station. Carry on the meeting without me!”

  3. Lets face it JonBoy the LibDems were equally criticised so there’s no point trying to score politic points. Whoever was in control would make a hash of it if aligned to a political party.
    What we need is either to do away with this level of government (why is there a need for it as duties are often replicated by the unitary authority?) or have non political representatives who don’t have to follow the edicts of “Head Office”

  4. I hope its not something to do with me . Its strange that both of my previous opponents, though won against me but either left Bradley Stoke council or resigned.
    BTW : I’m not interested in Bradley Stoke politics any more and will not contest any elections.

  5. It is a shame that Sachin Singhal is not getting involved in local politics again. He stood against me in the last election and was a hard working, genuine and honest adversary who fought the election on local issues and did not get personal. He shook my hand when he lost which shows what a decent chap he is. As for Jon Williams not standing again – No comment !

    Cllr John Ashe.

  6. I live in Bradley Stoke, am not aligned to a political party, have the time and energy to spare and I am interested… so where do I go from here ?

  7. Cynical Sid
    I was not scoring political points, if I was going to do that I would critcise the way that they have destoryed years of youth work in the town just to satify personal vendettas and save a few quid.

    And your comment about “making a hash of it”. To what do you refer?

    You obviously have no idea how local party politics operate in the town (Lib Dems anyway) or you wouldn’t make such uninformed statements. If you have the time, go back through minutes of the town council (prior to May 2007) and have a read. You’ll see that there was no voting on “party lines” and I lost votes on things I put forward because other Lib Dems disgreed with me. That’s democracy and I accepted it.

    If you are so in favour of the non party political representative, then go ahead and stand yourself. What you’ll find is that it’s very difficult to deliver all those leaflets yourself and knocking on doors in a very time consuming activity.

    As regards doing away with this “level of government”. You would end up like Bristol where local communites fight for every penny and money goes to the most deprived areas. In essence this would mean Bradley Stoke gets nothing.

    But hell, why not do away with the community festival, the community fireworks, the skate park, the Jubilee park, the play areas, the community buildings, because that’s what would happen if it was left to the “higher authority” who are in the process of saving millions of pounds. Just look at the way they’re closing Little Stoke Youth Club due to lack of funding.

    The good (and bad, depending on your point of view) thing with town and parish councils is that they are not “capped” and can, in theory raise as much money as they like (or the tax payers tolerate), to to support local activities and facilities.

    By the way you can put “Cynical Sid” on the ballot paper so that those residents in the Meadowbank Ward know who they’re voting for.

  8. Neil
    Well done. Firstly you need to get a letter to BSTC with 10 signatures from people who are electors in the Meadowbank ward. As long as you hand this in before 26th July 2012 you will force an election. Once that’s done you will need to collect forms from SGC, complete them and get them back to SGC within the deadline.

    Then the hard work begins.

    If you want non political guidance Iam happy to assist. Ask Ed for my contact email address.

    John Ashe – He was one of the cllrs present when I called them a “bunch of w*****s. Enough said.

  9. @JonBoy wrote: “As long as you hand this in before 26th July 2012 you will force an election.”

    Not necessarily. That deadline is for “calling” an election. An election would only take place if more than one candidate put their name forward after a “notice of election” was published.

  10. @Cllr John Ashe. Thanks for your kind words but currently 3 hours daily commute, running a Voluntary organisation & two small kids doesn’t leave me with any spare time .
    I wouldn’t commit myself to anything which I can’t deliver.


  11. Jonboy , looks like I hit a nerve- and you’re not interested in politics anymore- not much!
    “a hash of it” you mentioned youth provision!
    As far as standing well seems to me the people of Meadowbank need someone who is independent and tells it as it is.

  12. CS
    No nerve hit, just questioning your knowledge of what really happens rather than what your uninformed impression is.

    As regards youth work, definately not a “hash” under the Lib Dems. We invested money in serving our young people. I’ll stand by our record on that.

    So it seems that your comment is actually groundless.

    So are you going to “tell is as it is” or are you going to whinge and moan and rewrite history as you currently do? Are you NOT Independent?

  13. It has been revealed today that an election HAS been called for the vacant seat caused by the resignation of Barry Mitchell.

    The election will be held on Thursday 6th September 2012 as long as sufficient nominations are received. All eligible electors will receive poll cards.

    Read more: Elections (SGC)

Comments are closed.