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UPDATE: 'Slap in the face' for Torbay councillor axed by her ward association

By Herald Express  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

  • INs AND OUTS: Nick and Beryl

Comments (3)

TORBAY Tories have de-selected one of their longest serving councillors.

At their annual meeting, Wellswood ward members in Torquay did not support Cllr Beryl McPhail, a former Conservative Association chairman and honorary president of the Torbay Conservative Association as their candidate for the next election.They also chose former mayor Nick Bye as their new chairman in place of Mrs McPhail.

Mr Bye has only just been de-selected as a candidate for Paignton's Clifton-with-Maidenway ward by the Torbay Tory Association's executive.

Mrs McPhail said the move had come as a 'complete shock' and felt like 'a slap in the face' after she had been unanimously nominated by the previous ward committee.

The secretary of the Wellswood association is new Wellswood councillor Neil Bent, who last autumn was also de-selected by Wellswood and is to stand in the place of retiring councillor Peter Addis in St Marychurch.

Mrs McPhail was elected in the Cockington with Chelston ward in 1997 before moving to the Wellswood ward where she has served for 10 years.

Cllr Bent said: "Beryl has done brilliant work in Wellswood. She has had a very illustrious career, but the members who were there felt it was time for a change. We now have to go through the whole selection process. I am sure the newly-formed branch committee will consider whoever wants to put their name forward."

Mrs McPhail, who chairs the Torbay Council development control committee, said she was 'mulling over her options'.

She said: "I was certainly not expecting it. I was ready to stand next year and had been selected by the ward committee.

"I really don't know what the motivation was.

"It was a total shock and a real sort of slap in the face.

"When you have done nothing wrong at all and worked very conscientiously for the ward and for local people and to be treated like that is really quite shocking."

The ward did support former councillor and local businessman, James O'Dwyer, as a candidate. Mr Bye said: "The way ahead will be to endeavour to bring everybody together and build an election winning team for 2015. I very much hope to play a key part in this and I am sure this is also the top priority for the rest of the Wellswood committee & the Torbay Association."

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  • ivanovski  |  March 17 2014, 7:28PM

    As usual we do not get to read what is really happening here. Beryl McPhail who is a fine constituency Councillor is selected to stand again in the ward by the previous committee. Then there are some changes on the committee and she is de-selected. What the Herald should have delved into is, what has happened in the make up of the Committee? I agree with Meadfootfan he is probably the worst choice of candidate, based on his track record.

  • Meadfootfan  |  March 06 2014, 9:22PM

    The Wellswood Ward must have the lost the plot completely. Bye can talk the hind legs off a donkey but there is absolutely no substance to the man and very little brain. Perhaps they might reflect that when he was the disasterous Mayor he decided to put his name forward for the South Hams parliamentary seat and was roundly rejected by the voters. Remember the Balloon fiasco, Babbacombe Downs and the loads of expensive money he borrowed from the Government that the present Mayor is trying to pay back. Interesting that Cllr Bent has reappeared. Was he not in Bye's Cabinet? Nick Bye is no more a Conservative than Nick Clegg and members of the Wellswood Branch should think twice and support Cllr McPhail, a vey experienced and decent woman, and show the door to this arch publicity seeking troublemaker.

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  • Cruey  |  March 06 2014, 4:53PM

    Well I actually feel for this lady and I think Nick Bye must be stupid to want to have anything to do with this motley crew after the way they have treated him...........Torbay Tories are a joke, so much in-fighting no wonder we are in such a mess.....and as for Oliver..words fail me

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