A former Buckinghamshire councillor died from smoke inhalation and burn injuries in a car found on a country road. The body of Tony Dunn, a former member of Marlow Town Council and Wycombe District Council, was found on Saturday. Mr Dunn had been banned from office for the past two years over a planning row. District council leader Councillor Lesley Clarke said: “Our hearts go out to his family at this very sad time. I knew Tony well and will miss him greatly.”
This year’s council tax increase is to be the smallest since the toll began in 1993. The Local Government Association expects householders to see an average rise of 1.6% in April as councils cut back on jobs and services rather than increase tax ahead of a general election. The rise will take the average council tax bill per household to £1,194 in 2010/11.
A councillor in Bournemouth has begun a crusade to close a gay cruising website after a 15 year-old boy was propositioned in a local loo recommended on the site. Councillor Claire Smith said: “This is absolutely disgusting, particularly as it names toilets to meet where there are young families around. To have this degrading use of the facilities is extremely worrying.” Councillor Smith declared that the she would like to see the police take action over the site, but this is nearly impossible as it is hosted abroad.
One of the patrons of the National Bullying Helpline who resigned earlier this week over the Gordon Brown bullying scandal was a local councillor. Hillingdon councillor Mary O’Connor was one of four patrons to step aside following the decision of chief executive Christine Pratt to speak to the press regarding bullying in Downing Street.
The council in Basingstoke are under pressure to reverse a decision not to allow the deputy mayor to become mayor. For over 50 years the deputy mayor of Basingstoke and Deane has been selected as mayor the following year but this year Councillor Phil Heath was rejected. Now Criss Connor, a former mayor, has criticised the decision saying that Mr Heath was voted out because he defected from the Conservative Party. “The mayor in this town has always been outside the political arena. The mayor is the representative of the Queen in this town. This is bringing politics into the Royal Family — totally unacceptable.