County councillor will not seek re-election

Date: Friday 24th March 2017

KESWICK county councillor Andrew Lysser this week announced he will not be standing for re-election in May, and promptly threw his support behind fellow town council member Tony Lywood.

Although the two men do not share the same political views, Mr. Lysser said Mr. Lywood had demonstrated he was an active worker for the town and could “get things done”.

Mr. Lywood will face opposition from former Keswick mayor Ron Munby, who is a Conservative and has been an Allerdale borough councillor for the past 14 years. He has already indicated he will stand for election. Nominations close on 4th April and the county council elections are set to take place on 4th May.

Mr. Lysser has represented Keswick and the surrounding parishes on the county council for the past four years, and has served on the town council since 2008, including time as mayor.

However, he told the Herald he did not feel able to commit to another four years and, rather than do an average job, had decided to step down when he knew Mr. Lywood was prepared to stand.

“After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided not to stand for re-election at this time. I’ve enjoyed the last four years and feel I’ve supported my parishes to the best of my ability, and thank them for their help. I’ve done my best to support local issues such as housing, flooding and the retention of our hospital,” he said.

“I’ve used my local knowledge the best way I can. I felt Keswick was off the radar when I joined the county council, and I think they now realise how important Keswick is within the county as a focal point.”

Mr. Lysser said he stood as an independent “because I don’t believe it’s to do with politics, but more about the person on the ground doing their best for the community”.

He said: “In the forthcoming election I would support Tony Lywood. We don’t always agree and I don’t share his political views, but, at a local level, I feel the candidate is more important than the politics.

“I know that Tony will be proactive on behalf of Keswick and get things done. He has proved himself as an active member of Keswick Town Council and, if elected, I’ll give him my support.”

Mr. Lywood is a Labour member of the borough council and canvassed for his party’s candidate during the recent by-election campaign for the Copeland parliamentary seat.

Mr. Munby served as a town councillor for 16 years, which included three as mayor. He is also a past mayor of Allerdale.

He said: “I’m a traditionalist with a view to the future, and am a strong supporter of local pursuits and the general way of life enjoyed by those in the community.”

He is a keen advocate of a unitary authority in Cumbria and believes such a body is needed “with a clear vision and sense of purpose, to benefit from the release of government funding in order to improve the quality of life in Keswick and Cumbria as a whole”.