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Call for Lichfield councillor to resign after pleading guilty to common assault

Councillor John Walker

Councillor John Walker

EXCLUSIVE: The Leader of Lichfield District Council has called for a councillor who pleaded guilty to common assault to resign.

Cllr David Smith’s comments came after Cllr John Walker (Ind, Curborough) admitted the offence in court earlier today.

Cllr Walker – who had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of harrassment and common assault against Michael Plant on August 29 – claims he pleaded guilty as part of an agreement that would see the harrassment charge dropped against him and his co-accused 49-year-old Lynda Mary Goring.

Cllr Walker, of Samuel Close, Lichfield, has courted controversy in the past by backing a BNP councillor to stand in the county elections and comparing North Lichfield to Beirut.

These comparisons, coupled with his admission today, have led Cllr Smith to call for his resignation.

The Leader of Lichfield District Council said:

“I am appalled that a member of Lichfield District Council who is supposed to support and represent the community and is so vocal about safety in North Lichfield has admitted a crime of violence.

“I see no choice for him other than to resign and I look forward to receiving his resignation.”

However, Cllr Walker – who was fined £120 and made to pay compensation of £90, victim support of £15 and costs of £120 – claims he has no intention of stepping down.

He told The Lichfield Blog:

“Councillor Smith has been asking me to step down ever since I was elected, but I have absolutely no intention of doing so. I still represent the people that elected me and intend to continue doing so.

“I still believe I am innocent as I only pleaded guilty in order to prevent my assistant, who was also being charged with harassment, from having to go to court. I was essentially being a gentleman.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

13 Comments

  1. 66usual

    9th September, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    He should go. The man is a disgrace. The sooner the better. He doesn’t represent the people of Lichfield, and only appears interested in getting himself in the newspaper.

  2. Classcrisis

    9th September, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Alan Walker is a man with some extreme right wing views demonstrated by his nomination of a BNP candidate but he was elected and there are no rules compelling him to resign.

    Perhaps David Smith should look to his own party and the lack of policies that appeal to the working class people of Lichfield that are the majority in the Curborough ward rather than making pointless calls for Walker to resign.

    To us it would seem David Smith is a better candidate for resignation in disgrace due to his Keystone Cops style handling of the “on track” Friarsgate development and the scandalous amount of money wasted on the Garrick Theatre while other services are under threat.

    But hey, this kind of announcement from Smith is what passes for politics in Lichfield.

  3. Tax payer

    10th September, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Quote”He should go. The man is a disgrace. The sooner the better. He doesn’t represent the people of Lichfield, and only appears interested in getting himself in the newspaper. ” End quote
    Do you refer to Cllr Smith?
    The council extract money from us, to be used (wasted) for todays pet project,under threat of prison if we do not pay is that not worse than what Walker ha done?

  4. Tax payer

    10th September, 2009 at 11:14 am

    “ha” above should be “has”

  5. Classcrisis

    10th September, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    5 people voted our comment as bad. Sorry, we just can’t condemn Walker’ for his common assault conviction without knowing the circumstances. Common assault is a charge that can be applied to some frankly trivial actions as long as the victim believes there may be some danger or at least claims to believe that.

    We will never know if this was really the case as Walker pleaded guilty under a deal to protect his friend and so no evidence was tested. As far as we know Walker has not laid a finger on anyone and no one has disputed his explanation of his guilty plea as a gentlemanly gesture to protect his friend.

    We don’t want to give the impression that we are supporters of Alan Walker we are most certainly not. We find his politics abhorrent but this isn’t about his politics.

    Perhaps the Lichfield blog would like to offer David Smith a platform to criticise the political ideas of councillor Walker and give the leader of our council the opportunity to show he can play the ball instead of the man.

  6. Classcrisis

    10th September, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I have no idea why we keep calling John Walker Alan.

  7. Michael Fabricant

    11th September, 2009 at 11:52 am

    John Walker was quick enough to call for Mike Fryers to resign after his spot of bother – and that was even before the Court Case. Hey ho.

  8. Classcrisis

    11th September, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    We didn’t realise that John Walker was the man who set the bar for standards in public life in Lichfield. Until now we thought John Walker was just an outspoken man with some ideas we consider shoddy at best.

    The only people who should be in a position to force Walkers resignation are the people who elected him to represent them and although no formal mechanism exists for them to do that Michael I know you have a couple of former collegues on the Tory benches who could tell you that it is possible for popular anger to oust a person from an elected position.

    The only ‘anger’ here seems to be coming from the political classes supported by a couple of journos. Hey ho.

  9. 66usual

    11th September, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I started this comments, as one the electorate in the ward represented by ‘Cllr’ Walker. Being a voter in his ward is the source of my frustration, and also qualifies me to call for his resignation.

    I don’t believe he will stand down, and he will probably stand again at the next election. So, we will have to wait to see what happens then, unfortunately.

  10. Classcrisis

    11th September, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Are other people angry with him? Go and knock some doors and put some pressure on. That kind of action we have respect for, ordinary people taking control of their lives, we advocate it.

    It would be best that it’s pressure based on his politics, what he has actually delivered or failed to deliver and what people really want from their councilor.

  11. 66usual

    11th September, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I agree. I think you are right in that it is about issues and not personalities. I do believe that local people (well, the ones I know) do feel that he doesn’t represent them anymore, but feel powerless, at least until the next local elections. I can’t claim to speak for anyone else, however.

  12. Unconcerned Citizen

    17th September, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    This story has developed…
    According to todays Mercury, John Walker has pleaded not guilty.

    Wasn’t somebody calling for John Walker to resign recently when he was supposedly ‘Disruptive’ in a council meeting.
    Also.. wasn’t someone calling for John Walker to resign regarding The Alex Sproule BNP reference.

    Recently – (and im not agreeing with this) it seems David Smith is rather Keen to get John Walker out of his legally elected position.
    Is it because John Walker is independant rather than conservative?
    Is it because John Walker doesn’t do what Dave says?

    Good on John Walker…

    not that i like John Walker but the people of the ward decide who is on the council, not David Smith.

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