Long-serving Kenilworth councillor Dave Shilton expresses "disappointment and hurt" over not being picked to run in forthcoming Warwickshire County Council election

Long-serving Kenilworth councillor Dave Shilton has expressed his sense of "disappointment and hurt" at not being selected to run for the Conservative Party in the forthcoming Warwickshire County Council elections.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 10:58 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 11:02 am

Cllr Shilton, 74, represented the Park Hill ward of Kenilworth at town, district and county level for 20 years or more and has been mayor of the town twice and chairman of both the district council, meeting Her majesty the Queen at a Buckingham Palace garden party in 2005 as a result, and the county council.

But he revealed in a county council meeting yesterday that he has not been called back by the Kenilworth and Southam Conservative Association's committee for a final interview to be the candidate for the ward when the elections take place in May.

Speaking to the Kenilworth Weekly News after the meeting at which he had given his thoughts on the matter, Cllr Shilton, who lost his seats on the district and town councils after the elections for both in 2019, said: "I'm very hurt and disappointed.

Cllr David Shilton. Photo courtesy of Warwickshire County Council.

"I have always done my best for the ward so I find it disrespectful.

"I'm not sure if the guys on the panel understand what it's about."

Cllr Shilton said he has been encouraged to run as an independent candidate for the ward but that he is not sure if he wants to be involved in local politics or to be a supporter of the Conservative Party, which he 'gave a lot of his life to', anymore.

"He said: "I've had a lot of nice messages from people wishing me well.

"I will always be around to offer help and advice to people if they need it but I'm very depressed and feeling down about the way it has all gone."

Kenilworth town councillor Michael Coker, also a long-serving former district and county councillor, is a friend and political colleague of Cllr Shilton.

Cllr Coker said: I was very sorry to hear that Dave will not be running for the county council seat this year because I think he has been a very hard working councillor for the ward for many years.

"I know the selection committee traditionally don't give any reasons as to why people are picked to run in elections or not - it's just always been so."

Conservative Felicity Bunker, who is in her 70s, was a town councillor for the Park Hill Ward for 28 years and district councillor for 16.

She was also the mayor of Kenilworth twice and chairman of the district council.

She had put herself forward to run in the county council election in case Cllr Shilton was not picked but she too was not selected.

She said: "People have told me that they were shocked I was not chosen because I was a good councillor for the town and district councils.

"But the thing I object to most is not being given a reason why I was not picked.

"It feels like a kick in the teeth after supporting the Conservative Party since I was a teenager."