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Congleton
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Finishing council duties to focus on fatherhood

A councillor has announced that he’s leaving politics behind to focus on his duties as a dad following the birth of his second son.

Kieran Seymour, (34), who was elected as an Independent representative for Elworth in 2019, will step down from the role at Sandbach Town Council ahead of May’s local elections.

The decision came after his wife Natalie gave birth to their second son Ellis at the end of January.

Coun Seymour explained: “I’ve had a new-born a week ago so, timing-wise, there’s no way I’d be able to put together a campaign, especially as an Independent.

“Tied into that, and I’m very open about this because it is a subject that’s not talked about enough, is that our daughter was stillborn at 39 weeks in the summer of 2021. We lost her in the middle of the council cycle, and it was one of those moments that puts a lot of things into perspective.

“I stepped back from what I was doing and thought, I’ve got to put family first. I resigned from some of the committees – I still went to the main council meetings, but I stepped back from doing too much.”

Being both an Independent and the youngest councillor at the town hall, Coun Seymour, who works in cyber security and digital marketing, described his time in local politics as “fascinating” and suggested that he might return in the future.

“I’ve definitely enjoyed it, particularly before covid,” he said. “I had a bit more time then and I think the Independents were able to put up more of a challenge so we could have some healthy debate.

“One of my highlights was when Cheshire East Council was trying to bring in parking charges a couple of years ago and I lobbied against it. I conducted a poll which found that 90% of people were against the idea, so putting pressure on the borough was one of my favourite parts of the job.”

He was adamant that being an Independent councillor was the best position to be in at a local level.

“My key takeaway is that the Tories and Labour councillors say they’re putting Sandbach first and that they vote without political agendas, but that is 100% not the case. They have private meetings before the actual council meetings to decide how they’re going to vote as a block.”

The Chronicle asked all 19 of the current town councillors whether they would be seeking re-election. Only four confirmed they intended to stand, three said they would step down in May, two said they were unsure, one refused to answer and nine did not respond.

As reported last month, former Labour town councillor Paula Eaton was booted from the authority after failing to turn up to meetings for more than six months.

Her colleagues, Conservative Coun Steve Kirkham and Labour Coun Richard Hoffman, have both announced that they do not intend to seek re-election. They cited an “unpleasant” period in local politics and “aggro on social media” among their reasons for retirement, which led to concerns among the two main political parties that finding new candidates to run could be difficult.

 

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