Stay connected

Councillor Sam Phripp resigns from Somerset County Council

Liberal Democrat councillor, Sam Phripp has resigned from Somerset County Council with immediate effect, saying that he can no longer continue in a role where he is prevented from carrying out his work and even “intimidated and bullied.”

In making the announcement on 31st July he said, “It’s with more than a little bit of sadness that I’m stepping back from Somerset County Council and my role as member for Frome North. I have always been and remain passionate about our area, but a number of things have led me to decide that now is the time to step down.

“I got involved with local politics because I wanted to make things better in the place I live and care about. I’m proud of the fact that since being elected in May last year, I’ve secured new funding for First schools in my division, secured a new highways plan to enforce the weight restriction in Norton St Philip and I hope, in some very small way, made things a little bit better for local people. I was also part of the campaign to save the 267’s route through Rode. We were largely successful with that campaign, and it’s a campaign and a group of people that I’ll always remember very fondly.

“I’ve always believed that local councillors should work across party boundaries to get things done, and this is something that I’ve done throughout. It’s sad and upsetting, however, that in the run up to the General Election, the Conservatives have focussed more on their chances of winning in 2015 than they have getting real results for our area.

“I’ve always been open and happy to work with anybody, but I have to be clear that I’ve been met with huge obstruction from local Conservatives since being elected. For me, that’s disappointing, and it’s not what politics should be about. The simple fact is, I can’t continue in a position where I’m being blocked at every turn and at some points even intimidated and bullied by others. I still care about local people and about our area, but I can’t and won’t put myself through that any longer.

“I will remain a district councillor until the elections next year, and will happily fulfil my duties in that capacity. I’ll also be happy to support whoever local LibDem members choose to stand in the by-election which will shortly follow and I hope that local people will choose in a new councillor who will and can work positively for all local people. I remain a passionate Liberal Democrat and remain committed to ensuring that local LibDems work hard and keep winning for our area.”

Sam Phripp was elected to Somerset County Council in May last year, beating the incumbent Conservative councillor. He is also the district councillor for Berkley Down in Frome.

In response, the leader of Somerset County Council John Osman said, ““It is sad that Sam Phripp has resigned as a county councillor, however it is even sadder that in his resignation statement he has made a number of unsubstantiated allegations. These allegations were not brought to my or any council officers attention before now.

“I hope that the allegations made were not politically motivated, as it is strange that he has not raised any specific incidents or named any individual as in relation to his allegations.”