Complaints over disappearing Liberal Democrat councillors in Tyldesley

Leigh Journal: Clr Robert Bleakley Clr Robert Bleakley

LIBERAL Democrat councillors in Tyldesley are becoming ‘thin on the ground’, according to residents.

Complaints have been made about the absence of Lib Dem representatives Clr Robert Bleakley and Clr Paul Valentine from council meetings.

Clr Bleakley, currently under investigation by the police for alleged misuse of public office, has attended one out of the seven meetings he was expected to in the past six months.

Clr Valentine has attended two of the six meetings he was expected to and has moved out of Tyldesley. Frank Parkinson, who lives in Tyldesley, said: “Where have all the Lib Dems gone? I do not like councillors who take the money, but don’t do the work.

“Clr Valentine left the area quite a while ago, which would be okay, but he doesn’t seem to be doing anything he should as a councillor.

“As for Clr Bleakley, with the allegations against him, I’m not surprised he hasn’t been attending meetings. But in my opinion if they aren’t willing to put the work in, they should give up their seats so someone who lives in the area and will attend can take over.”

A council spokesman said: “Clr Valentine and Clr Bleakley must attend at least one meeting in a six-month period, and if they do, they are entitled to remain a councillor. Both attended a council meeting on November 6.

“Clr Valentine has offered a business address while he sorts out his residential address and both should be available on their usual email addresses.

“Residents could also speak to the third councillor in the ward, who is Clr Stephen Hellier.”

Clr Bleakley has now left the Liberal Democrats to become an independent representative.

John Mitchell, Wigan Council’s assistant director for legal, said: “Wigan Council has received notification from Clr Bleakley that he no longer wishes to be a member of the Liberal Democrat group on Wigan Council and instead wishes to become an independent member.”

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