And now the end is near; And so I face the final curtain. And more, much more than this, they did it their way

FENLAND councillor Phil Webb lost his appeal against de-selection after an acrimonious appeals committee last night.

Cllr Webb, the Cabinet member for Shaping Fenland’s portfolio, confirmed in a one word response – “correct”- that he had lost his battle to remain the Conservative councillor for his ward.

Tories from across Fenland met for an executive meeting in Whittlesey called principally to investigate whether a local meeting at which Cllr Webb had been de-selected had been run correctly.

Senior Tories agreed it had, even though only a handful turned out to hear speeches from the three prospective candidates vying for the two seats.

The Friday Bridge, Elm, Coldham and Christchurch ward handed the nominations to the other sitting member, Councillor Mac Cotterell but agreed to award the second nomination to Christchurch parish councillor Will Sutton.

Cllr Webb appealed against the decision but the NE Cambs executive ruled the decision fell within their constitution.

The executive rejected arguments that any undue pressure may have been put on ward members to vote a certain way.

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They also ruled inadmissible a questioner who tried to find out whether Cllr Webb would stand as an independent if he failed to win selection.

County councillor Steve Tierney, and himself a candidate for a seat on Fenland Council, said: “Phil is a nice guy and a good councillor. No doubt a bit sore, who wouldn’t be? But he’ll bounce back.”

Some prospective independent candidates are hoping Cllr Webb will join them but he has until April 4, when nominations close, to decide.

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