Councillor Chris Furlong deselected

Date published: 29 September 2017

After appearing before an independent panel, Middleton Councillor Chris Furlong has confirmed he has not been reselected to stand in the May 2018 local election.

Councillor Furlong said: "I will not be standing anywhere next year. I will continue as Labour councillor until May 2018 for the people of North Middleton. I will continue to work hard and stand up for the people of North Middleton as best as I can, which I have done since 2014.

“I would like to thank the warmth and well wishes from residents who have been in touch since they found out I could not stand in next year’s local elections; it has been quite overwhelming.

"There has been speculation regards the reason of why I did not appeal the decision not to allow me on the Labour selection panel for next year’s local election. I did originally appeal, and it was an appeal I thought that I would be successful with. However, I decided to withdraw that appeal."

Residents of Middleton have aired their disappointment.

Col Wagstaffe said: “Chris has been one of the best councillors Middleton has seen for a long time. A respectable family man and super-active councillor for over three years, working tirelessly for the people of Middleton, and was the only councillor to stand with us on our green belt march at the beginning of the year.

“He has been out with the Middleton in Bloom team litter picking almost every weekend, and has done runs and marathons on a regular basis, raising thousands for various charities.

“Chris has been more in tune with what Middleton folk want, doing exactly what he is paid to do, and has fought with and for them, creating and running his own website, attending township and other meetings, as well as being active and helpful online.”

Zoe Sherlock commented: “That is a very sad loss. Chris is the only councillor who can be bothered to turn up to almost every community event, answers queries promptly and actually cares about the community.”

Keeley O’Mara added: “I am utterly devastated. Whoever is replacing Chris next May in North Ward has some seriously big shoes to follow.”

Sue Ewings said: “So sorry to hear this, Chris has been a brilliant councillor for this area, and you leave big shoes to fill, good luck with whatever you do next.”

The Labour Party did not respond to an invitation to comment.

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