Barrow says he will not resign

ONE of Suffolk's leading Conservative councillors has said he has no intention of resigning, even though he is seeking election next month to Westminster City Council.

ONE of Suffolk's leading Conservative councillors has said he has no intention of resigning, even though he is seeking election next month to Westminster City Council.

Colin Barrow, former deputy leader of the county council's Tory group and county councillor for Wickham Market, will be standing in Westminster's Hyde Park ward.

Mr Barrow, who is regarded by Conservative Central Office as an influential figure in Tory local authority circles, is spending more time in London because Suffolk cannot provide his son with the special education needs he requires.

"A little over a year ago, our younger son was diagnosed as having autism," said Mr Barrow. "This is a profound communication disorder, which can be substantially helped by an intensive educational programme in the early pre-school period.


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"My wife Angie and myself tried to implement such a programme in Suffolk, but the resources available from the local education authority do not meet his needs.

"We are appealing to the special educational needs tribunal to get him what he wants but meanwhile, we are delivering an educational programme for him in London, where we also have a house."

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Mr Barrow, who gave over that house to Michael Portillo for use during his failed Tory leadership bid last summer, was asked by Westminster Conservatives to seek election to the city council.

"I qualify to stand as a councillor in both Westminster and Suffolk and there are many examples of people who work on more than one council." He also cited Baroness Scott of Needham Market, Liberal Democrat county councillor and chairman of the authority's rights of way committee, who sits as a front bench spokesman in the House of Lords.

"I am travelling, as I have done for some time, between Suffolk and Westminster as necessary to look after my patch and serve as a member of the county council, while looking after my business interests in London."

If Mr Barrow wins Hyde Park, he will serve on Conservative-controlled Westminster City Council for an initial four-year period. He is due to seek re-election in Wickham Market in 2005.

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