Warring councillors call a truce

By Justin Dunn

TWO warring Tory councillors who were heading to court after an internal party row have agreed to bury the hatchet.

Moreton and Saughall Massive Cllr Chris Blakeley has publicly apologised for not recognising the efforts of colleague David Kirwan in trying to expose a council blunder over mobile phone masts.

In return, Cllr Kirwan - a solicitor - has said he will no longer pursue libel action against Cllr Blakeley.

However, Cllr Kirwan resigned the Tory whip last week and said on Monday he would remain in the council as an Independent Conservative serving the Hoylake and Meols ward.

Wirral Council was forced to apologise to residents after four mobile phone masts - turned down for planning permission - were allowed to go ahead because a council employee had failed to issue the relevant decision notice to T-Mobile.

“I am delighted that Cllr Blakeley has issued his statement ".
Cllr David Kirwan

Cllr Blakeley accused the Labour-led planning committee - which includes Cllr Kirwan - of trying to keep the blunder under wraps.

Cllr Blakeley said: "I deeply regret any misunderstanding that I may have caused.

"I am happy to make clear that Cllr Kirwan was a vociferous opponent of any moves to keep the mobile phone mast blunder out of the public domain.

"Cllr Kirwan has worked tirelessly for the Conservative Party cause during the past couple of years and it is a great shame that he has chosen to resign from the party.

"My wish is that we can continue working together for the good of all residents in Wirral."

Cllr Kirwan said: "I am delighted that Cllr Blakeley has issued his statement making clear the role that I played in bringing the phone mast blunder into the public domain.

"As a result, I have today decided to withdraw the libel action against the councillor.

"However, I stand by my decision to resign the party whip and will continue to represent residents in Hoylake & Meols as an Independent Conservative.

"Cllr Blakeley is a highly regarded councillor who, like myself, fights tirelessly to improve the lives of people in Wirral. I look forward to joining forces with him on many issues in the future."

© Copyright 2001-2007 Newsquest Media Group

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