‘You’re cheating and should resign’ – pressure rises on councillor who moved to Scotland

The scandal swirling around Cambridge councillor Donald Adey shows no sign of going away with his former Liberal Democrat colleagues now leading the clamour for his departure.

Cllr Adey, who quit the party before they could remove the whip, is defiantly refusing to resign after saying he would continue to represent Trumpington from 400 miles away in Fife, Scotland.

Cllr Donald Adey represents the Trumpington ward on Cambridge City and Cambridgeshire County councils – and can continue to claim £15,000 in allowances.

Today (Tuesday, May 15) he attended a full meeting of the county council, as criticism of the now independent councillor was reaching fever pitch.

We splashed the story of growing anger on our page after he claimed he would continue to do the job remotely using modern technology like Skype .

Front page of the Cambridge News on Tuesday, May 15

In the council meeting, Lib Dem Cllr Nichola Harrison hit out at her former colleague.

She said: “The councils reach doesnt go as far as Scotland. People who live in Scotland shouldn't be here. He shouldnt cheat and stay in office here.

"Cllr Adey should step down and should be ashamed of himself. He is not wanted here".

Cambridge University's headquarters daubed with graffiti

Cllr Adey, who did not speak during the meeting, cast his vote (against plans to relocate the county council to Alconbury) and then left the chamber, missing the rest of the meeting.

Speaking after he had left the chamber, he rejected the idea that he ought to step down as a councillor, and said it was perfectly possible to keep up-to-date with a changing city like Cambridge from afar.

He said he would always reply to emails if residents had questions for him, and has previously suggested Skype might be a good way for him to interact with the public.

Donald Adey claims: 'You should be able to live anywhere'

(Image: Keith Jones)

“I am still able to represent the public that has elected me, even though I am living most of the time further away and that is the end of the matter,” he said.

“There are many things wrong with the British electoral system – first past the post, the House of Lords. You should be able to live anywhere and still represent your ward.

“Cambridge is changing – but you can keep up to date with what is happening quite easily. Cambridge has been changing the whole time Ive been involved with being a councillor, some 25 years.”

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The Cambridge councillor who lives in Fife

Cllr Adey said claims he had attended the meeting simply to avoid falling foul of the “six month rule”, which would see councillors having to leave the council if they have not attended a council meeting for six months, were “unfair”. He denied this was the reason he had attended the full council meeting.

Speaking about a recent interview he gave to Scottish newspaper, the Courier, Cllr Adey said he was “intrigued” having been doorstepped by a reporter there. He said people in Cambridge should contact him by email if they have things they need to discuss.

“If resident send me an email, I will respond to that,” said Cllr Adey. “If people want to speak to me, they can send me an email.”

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