Six borough councillors are to give up their seats at the coming election – and at least one of them didn’t want to go.
David Shreeves, who has represented Labour in Langley Green for 12 years, said he had been “knifed in the back” by colleagues who put him aside in favour of a new candidate.
I like to feel confident I’ll be back in that I’ve done nothing wrong as a councillorDavid Shreeves
His replacement will be Andrew Skudder, who served as councillor for Broadfield between 2000 and 2004.
An emotional Cllr Shreeves announced at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday (April 1) that he would not be standing in the borough elections on May 7.
Also leaving the council will be: Nigel Boxall (Con, Tilgate), Sally Blake (Con, Pound Hill North), Keith Blake (Con, Gossops Green), Chris Oxlade (Lab, Ifield) and Lenny Walker (Con, Maidenbower).
Opposition leader Cllr Duncan Crow denied claims Cllr Walker had been deselected by the Conservative Party.
In a brief statement to the council, Cllr Shreeves said: “After nearly 12 years of continued service to the residents of Langley Green and to this town, I can say what an honour and privilege it has been to represent you.”
Following the meeting, his anger and disappointment prompted a stronger response and he said: “I was deselected. I was given no reason and was told at a selection meeting .
“I was knifed in the back.”
Describing himself as “gutted”, Cllr Shreeves said: “I like to feel confident I’ll be back in that I’ve done nothing wrong as a councillor.”
Despite being dropped by his party, Cllr Shreeves said he had no intention of turning his back on the Langley Green community and would continue to attend meetings of the neighbourhood forum.
Mr Skudder confirmed he had been selected to stand by the members of Labour’s Langley Green branch.
He said he would have been prepared to stand in any ward in the borough, as he had done in recent years, but was pleased to have been selected for Langley Green as he lives in the neighbourhood.
Mr Skudder added: “Obviously I had mixed feelings about it because I was very excited to have the chance to stand here, but was also a little surprised by the decision of the members.”