Senior councillor hits back after being ‘removed’ from post...and quits Conservative Party

L-R Boston Borough Council leader Peter Bedford with deputies Raymond Singleton-McGuire and Michael Brookes. Pictured outside the Municipal Buildings, Boston, following the 2011 election. ENGEMN00120130122121140
L-R Boston Borough Council leader Peter Bedford with deputies Raymond Singleton-McGuire and Michael Brookes. Pictured outside the Municipal Buildings, Boston, following the 2011 election. ENGEMN00120130122121140

The senior Boston borough councillor who was ‘removed’ from his posts while facing legal proceedings has outlined his frustration at the decision...and decided to quit the Conservative Party.

The council revealed Coun Raymond Singleton-McGuire has been removed as deputy leader and cabinet member in a statement yesterday.

Raymond Singleton-McGuire

Raymond Singleton-McGuire

He told The Standard he will not now stay aligned to the party, seeing out his term as borough councillor as an independent.

In a statement he said: “My removal from post was a decision made by the leader of Boston Borough Council fuelled by various internal issues between the council and my own personal property business.

“Throughout my term as deputy leader and finance portfolio holder I have demonstrated a loyalty and dedication to the role for the greater good of the taxpayers of Boston, turning the finance arm of the council around from a deficit from the previous administration to a positive.

“In order to reach this positive, the past 3.5 years have been challenging, demanding and, at times, very obstructive when dealing with council members and staff and, to some degree, the position is a tough role where popularity does not exist at times of these challenges in order to produce results.”

He outlined how he feels he was ‘blocked’ from finding out information on an ongoing issue that he still aims to persue outside of the cabinet. He did not wish to go into the details of the specific issue.

His statement goes on to say: “My challenging and questionable approach about fundamentally incorrect systems, lack of transparency and scrutiny over financial and other matters has recently led to the leader blocking communication between myself and Boston Borough Council, forcing me to enlist the help of outside regulative authorities such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Local Government Association (LGA), Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Government Ombudsman.

“I feel yesterday’s incident to remove me as deputy leader and finance portfolio holder, in light of openness and transparency, does not reflect well in light of the above experiences.

“I am therefore unable to continue my allegiance with Coun Peter Bedford as Conservative group leader and leader of the council.

“It is with that in mind and it should not come as a surprise that I have decided to continue the remainder of my term in office as an independent.”

Coun Singleton-McGuire’s position beyond the current council term, with elections due in May, is not yet clear.

He told the Standard he does not wish to comment on the legal proceedings.