Due to the fact that of one the long serving Ward Councillors, Sam Owolabi-Oluyole died recently after a bout of illness and that the other long serving Councillor and Lewisham Council Cabinet member, Crada Onuegbu has been hospitalised due to illness also; the last Evelyn Ward Assembly was chaired by Councillor Joan Millbank of Telegraph Hill in her capacity as Cabinet Member for the Third Sector.
And this had many wondering what had happened to the Ward’s third Labour Councillor Olufunke Abidoye? Voted in with 978 votes (55% of the turnout) in the by-elections in April last year to replace Councillor Folorunso, who had dedicated his time to the orphanage he founded with his late wife in Togo, instead of his duties as a councillor.
But despite all this, she was deselected three months after her being elected, and will not be up for re-election…Why? It would seem she did not disclose the fact that she had been suspended whilst being investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) over midwifery misconduct claims in her former position as a midwife at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust.
And even though she was deselected, going by her attendance record, she has been quite diligent, attending on average three-quarters of the meetings she was expected at, despite no longer apparently enjoying her Party’s confidence.
This has left Evelyn Ward in a very awkward position! Where there is apparently no functioning representative putting forward their concerns before the Council. And I believe highlights the danger of voting for a candidate based solely on the party they stand for rather than the actual knowledge of the candidates themselves.
I have asked this question before and I ask it again, “Do we really need party politics in local elections?” And now I ask another question, “Do we simply back every candidate a party puts forward without knowing something about the candidate for ourselves?” or put another way “Do we blindly believe that the parties know who is best to serve us?”
And finally “Do politicians really serve the people or the party they belong to?”