George Caffery has tendered his resignation as Labour councillor for Gorrell Ward. That is effective immediately and will trigger a by-election for the seat at a date to be determined.
George was elected to the council in 2019 along with Chris Cornell and Val Kenny, who continue to serve local residents. A lifelong resident of the ward, George was always a passionate advocate for Whitstable and its wonderful environment, and the loss of his commitment to the Town is a significant blow for the Council.
“Being a councillor can be a stressful and at times frustrating job, particularly in opposition. George has worked hard for the residents despite some very challenging personal situations.” said Councillor Val Kenny. “But he was increasingly frustrated with the authoritarian route being taken by the Conservatives which lead to his pleas being ignored. In this end George has decided to show his dissatisfaction with this council and its policies by taking the difficult decision to step down.”.
Councillor Chris Cornell said “George’s passion for Whitstable was never in doubt but this job can be all consuming. Not one of us enjoys having to explain to residents how decisions which often go against their best interests are voted through time and time again by the ruling group. For me personally, these discussions just strengthen my resolve – this council doesn’t speak for many of our residents and it is our job to remind them of that.”
Leader of the Labour Group Dave Wilson thanked George for his service and friendship. “We wish George the best of luck in the future and hope he has more time to spend sailing and with the family. Labour believes in preserving and improving the best that Whitstable has to offer to both residents and businesses. We owe it to our voters to attend Council meetings, speak up for the Town and hold the ruling Tories to account at every turn. We will be fielding a dynamic candidate at the by-election to complement our existing strong team in Whitstable.”
Details of the by-election will be published by the City Council’s Returning Officer in due time.
In the meantime, George’s casework will be picked up by Councillors Chris Cornell and Valerie Kenny, to whom all future resident enquiries should be made.