Lib Dem council leader quits over ‘Astragate’ affair

The Local Government Chronicle reports:

Embattled Northampton BC leader Tony Woods (Lib Dem) has stepped down from the authority’s helm following the so-called ‘Astragate’ affair. Cllr Woods was officially sanctioned by the authority for leaving his untaxed Vauxhall Astra in the authority’s Guildhall car park for more than three months earlier this year.

In a brief resignation speech, Cllr Woods said the incident was a “silly, trivial mistake” that had seen him subjected to a level of abuse not even serious criminals faced.

Local paper the Northampton Chronicle & Echo quoted Cllr Woods as saying he was “truly saddened” to be standing down from the helm of the council. “It’s a role I’ve come to love,” he said. “It’s been a massive challenge and I feel immensely privileged, but it’s now a role someone else must shoulder.”

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9 Comments

  • Andrew Suffield 28th Oct '09 - 10:28pm

    Do we really have to append ‘gate’ to the name of everything now?

  • Chris Stanbra 28th Oct '09 - 11:01pm

    No – if the Watergate scandal happened now it would have some other appendage as someother scandal would have become the one that all others were known by – cue search for suitably “big” scandal.

  • Except he hasn’t really stood down anywhere – he’s still on the Council’s executive and still claiming a lot of taxpayers money for it.

    I’d have thought given his utter ignorance and lack of judgement – he should be suspended from party membership at the very least. The article fails to mention also that two Lib Dem cllrs have resigned from the group over his ‘non resignation resignation’ leaving the party with a majority of one on the council.

    His actions also must make the chances of delivering the target seat of Northampton South almost non-existent now. Thanks a bundle Tony!

  • Richard Church 29th Oct '09 - 7:45am

    Dan is wrong. Tony Woods is no longer a member of the cabinet of Northampton Borough Council, and I should know because I am.

    The issue was dealt with by the council’s standards committee following a complaint by two ‘members of the public’ (one of who just happened to be the former Labour leader of the council). The Standards committee found that he had misused council property, but that he had not brought the council into disrepute. He was asked to apologise to all councillors which he did, but decided to resign as well following the media fuss.

    The car was parked in a space reserved for the use of the leader of the council. The was no dishonesty, there was no money involved, no-one was hurt or put at risk, it was hardly on a scale of the kind of offences that that standards boards are dealing with up and down the country on a regular basis, let alone some of the things that MP’s are being accused of, and how many of them are resigning?

  • Chris Stanbra 29th Oct '09 - 5:37pm

    Dan is wrong on something else too – a free delivery route in Corby for the first person to spot it. (unless its Dan when it will be 2 delivery routes)

  • North or South ?

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