Woollard aims for town seat

A local government veteran is hoping to win a seat on Soham Town Council.

One-time county and district councillor, Geoffrey Woollard, who stood as an Independent against long standing South East Cambridgeshire MP Sir James Paice in the last general election, is now turning his sights to local government.

The 75-year-old retired farmer, who moved to Soham last summer, is also planning to stand for election to Ely-based East Cambridgeshire District Council in May next year.

Mr Woollard first got involved in local government when he joined Swaffham Bulbeck Parish Council in 1973. A year later he was elected to Cambridgeshire County Council as ward councillor for the Newmarket Number 1 rural ward later to become the Burwell ward.

In the 1980s he became a district councillor for Bottisham and Lode. Bottisham -born Mr Woollard joined the Conservative Party in 1963 but resigned his membership in 1999 when he said he got “very tired with the party’s obsession with blood sports fox hunting and hare coursing” which he opposes.

“I was fed up with the whipping system at that time,” he said. “If you were a county councillor or a district councillor or an MP, you did what the party whip tells you. I think representatives ought to think for themselves. I want to stick up for Soham as an independent not be told what to do by any party lines. I sometimes get the feeling that Soham needs a louder voice. If I have got an opinion on something I will usually come out with it.”

Since moving to Soham Mr Woollard has spoken out on issues such as Asda’s imminent takeover of Budgens on Clay Street. “As a nearby resident I do not want to see it happen. I object to the necessity of having seven fascia signs, which Asda are proposing, some of which will be illuminated, and the plan to sell alcohol until midnight.

“I’m apprehensive of late night disorder that could occur.”