by Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
A row has erupted within the Romford Conservative Association after its deputy chairman accused a councillor of being “confused” because her husband suffers from dementia.
While being questioned by the Recorder over the fact he had announced Cllr Georgina Galpin’s “replacement” without her knowledge, Cllr Damian White said his fellow Hylands councillor didn’t understand the implications of the fact she was planning to run in a different ward.
“She has become very confused because her husband has Alzheimer’s,” he said.
Leaflets were distributed in the Hylands ward last month announcing: “Cllr Georgina Galpin has decided not to contest the Hylands ward at the next local elections. She is to be replaced by Joshua Chapman.”
Cllr Galpin responded by hand-delivering a letter to thousands of constituents saying she had been “pushed out” by the group because of her age.
She called Cllr White’s comment about her husband “evil”, adding: “I take that as offensive.
“I have been dealing with that for the last 10 years. I’m not confused and I’m not stupid.”
Cllr Galpin’s details have been replaced on the newsletter by Mr Chapman’s, even though she remains an elected councillor.
Mr Chapman is not a councillor and has not been selected as a candidate for Hylands.
But Cllr White said Cllr Galpin, 66, had been chosen to run in St Andrew’s in Hornchurch, and that official rules meant she couldn’t run in two wards at once.
Cllr Galpin, who has been a Hylands councillor since 2002, denied this was the reason. “They have shoved me out,” she told the Recorder. “I haven’t made a decision – if I could stay in Hylands, I would. They haven’t told me to my face but the indication is I’m being deselected.
“If I’d done something wrong I’d be able to understand it – but I’m a good councillor and I fulfil my role.”
Cllr Galpin has received more votes than any other candidate in the ward in the last two elections.
But Cllr White said his colleague was “confused”.
“Cllr Galpin has been on several newsletters presenting herself as a candidate in St Andrew’s,” he said. “She could still go through the process to say she wants to be the candidate in Hylands – but she couldn’t run in another ward.
“She’s a very good, hardworking, conscientious councillor but I don’t think she understands what she has done.”
Cllr Galpin denied she’d been officially selected in St Andrew’s, adding: “There’s no legal reason why I shouldn’t be a candidate in Hylands.”