A FORMER Cheshire councillor has slammed his successor’s complaints of party politics stopping a review of transport for schoolchildren in his ward.

Paul Roberts lost to current Farndon councillor Adrian Waddelove by 24 votes (852 to 828) in May 2023’s election for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC), with the seat moving from Lib Dem to Conservative.

Last week, Cllr Waddelove accused CWAC’s ruling Labour councillors of ‘failing to listen’ and said that ‘helping youngsters and their parents to make the best education choices is not a priority’ for Labour leaders’.


This came after his call for as full review of CWAC’S existing school transport policy was rejected before Christmas.

But Mr Robert’s, in a letter to The Herald, criticised the comments from Cllr Waddelove, stating that they were ‘highly selective’.

He added: “The first point that he glosses over is that the unfair way in which CWaC decides which children qualify for free transport was actually introduced by the Conservatives.

“While Conservative councillors did support my efforts to get their policy – continued by Labour - reversed, they have never – to my knowledge – apologised to the parents whose children have suffered because of the previous CWaC Conservative Administration’s decision to put a small cost saving ahead of the needs of children.

“It’s also interesting to read his complaints about how party politics affects the work of the council.

“While he is, unfortunately, correct, coming from him that is frankly mind-boggling.

“When I was the councillor for Farndon ward, I found that progress could best be made by constructive dialogue with other councillors, regardless of party politics (for which the Conservatives often criticised me.)

“My approach eventually bore fruit, when the Labour leadership did eventually agree to reverse the Conservatives’ changes to the criteria for childrens’ eligibility for free transport.

“However, since Cllr Waddelove narrowly won the Farndon Ward seat last May, he has unfortunately become noted for his very aggressive party-political and thus counter-productive approach on a wide range of issues.

“I cannot judge how much his negative approach contributed to the Labour leadership’s totally unacceptable decision to renege on their previous commitment, but – at the very best – Cllr Waddelove certainly didn’t help.”

Cllr Waddelove said he was disappointed to receive the critiocvism from his predecessor for ‘standing up and fighting for hard-working families’.

“It is a matter of public record that I have said the 2010-15 Conservative-led CWaC made mistakes with this policy and that it needs improving,” he said.

“However, Labour have run the Council since 2015 and have refused to change it on multiple occasions over the past eight and a half years.

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“I am the youngest Borough Councillor on CWaC and I was still at school when the current policy was brought in.

“I fail to see how I can be accused of party politics for decisions made by a council nearly half my lifetime ago.

“But this attempted criticism won’t deter me from fighting on behalf of residents for what is right despite Labour’s attempts to silence me, and now these Liberal Democrat attacks.”