Protesters man the steps of Fenland Hall in March as UKIP Councillor Alan Lay faces conduct hearing

Protesters gather outside Fenland Hall in March before the start of a conduct committee hearing on C

Protesters gather outside Fenland Hall in March before the start of a conduct committee hearing on Cllr Alan Lay - Credit: Archant

Placard waving members of a newly formed group of residents calling themselves Wisbech Voices manned the steps at Fenland Hall in March this morning in support of a 78-year-old councillor facing a conduct hearing.

The group which says it has come together “from different walks of life, and different political allegiances” to support Councillor Alan Lay, who they insist has been treated “unfairly” by the conduct committee of Fenland Council, waved placards proclaiming ‘Stop the Tory bullies’.

Today’s hearing will look into a complaint by Wisbech deputy mayor Councillor Steve Tierney about what was said at a town council meeting in Wisbech.

Cllr Lay alleges he was threatened by the mayor Councillor Garry Tibbs – an allegation that led to demands by Cllr Tierney for a retraction. The UKIP councillor has refused.

A spokesman for Wisbech Voices said they were “an informal group thrown together by a shared love of the town” but were concerned by the state of local politics.

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“Our purpose is to draw the attention of local people to what the group believes is the negative effect on Wisbech, both present and future, of town and district councils run by a tightly-knit clique of politicians who seek to stifle debate and demean anyone who disagrees with them,” said the spokesman.

The group says it may in the future contest elections to effect changes but it was early days: matters came to a head over the Cllr Lay issue.

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A full report of the conduct hearing will follow later today.

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