Councillor steps down as leader to pursue ‘other commitments’

Councillor steps down as leader to pursue 'other commitments'

Cllr Nicholas Pope this week quit his position with the party that was set up specifically to oppose the theatre project.

He has cited ‘other commitments’ and will be replaced by Alliance Park ward councillor, Becki Bruneau.

Cllr Pope remains a
member of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

The news comes just days after Cllr Pope lost his appeal against a ‘gagging order’ that barred him from voting on the Calverley Square project.

Cllr Pope was prevented on voting in October’s debate on the £108million theatre project due to his wife owning a property affected by the development.

The Council say Cllr Pope has a ‘disclosable pecuniary interest’ in that he or his wife could benefit financially from any decision made on Calverley Square.

While the Council voted to scrap the theatre in October, Cllr Pope had already applied for dispensation from the rules in September, which was heard by the Audit and Governance committee last week.

Cllr Pope, who did not attend the hearing, submitted a statement in which he said he was elected on a ‘mandate’ to stop Calverley Square.

The committee rejected his appeal and refused the dispensation.

Following the hearing, Cllr Pope said the decision was ‘not unexpected’.

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