A Conservative councillor who was removed from a school’s board of governors for non-attendance insists he thought he had resigned from the post.
Councillor Daniel Seal was disqualified from representing the local authority on the board of governors of Garden Suburb Infant and Junior School after failing to attend a meeting in more than six months.
The Tory representative was this week publicly criticised by expelled Conservative Brian Coleman in an online blog, in which he accused the young politician of “erratic” attendance at council meetings.
But Councillor Seal claims he thought he had resigned from the school’s board of governors in the summer, and hit back at Councillor Coleman with his own scathing criticisms.
The Garden Suburb councillor’s self-disqualification was noted at last week’s full council meeting, but he told the Times Series he was surprised and disappointed to see it in the minutes.
He said: “I was surprised to see it because it was my understanding I had resigned. I spoke to a clerk to tell them I couldn’t carry out my duties last summer – there must have been an administrative error.
“My error was perhaps to not follow the procedures properly. I’m not the sort of person to be part of something and not turn up.”
The 31-year-old, who runs his own publishing and events company, said he tried to resign after realising he was unable to give enough time to the role outside his full-time job.
He added: “It is a great school but when doing something, I would rather do it properly. I didn’t think I was bringing value to the school because I couldn’t devote enough time to it.
“I accept I should have followed the proper process to remove myself but I was disappointed to see it in the minutes.”
Councillor Seal’s disqualification became the subject of an online post entitled ‘Seal Hunting Anyone?’ that appeared on the blog of former GLA member and disgraced local councillor Brian Coleman, who was removed from the council’s cabinet last year and was later convicted of assault.
In the post, the independent councillor admitted he is “no friend” of Councillor Seal’s, and goes on to lambast his work rate and attendance since being elected to the local authority.
Speaking to the Times Series, Councillor Coleman said: “He’s getting £10,000 a year and not doing a single piece of work. He’s tweeting from airport lounges all around the world and barely turning up to meetings – it is a disgrace.”
The reaction has sparked a war of words between the politicians and Councillor Seal responded to his former party colleague's comments this week.
Referring to Councillor Coleman, he said: “He is a sad, pathetic individual whose political career has self-destructed. He’s jealous of any young bright talent and is frustrated that he is someone who has come to nothing – his own party don’t want him and to take cheap shots at young politicians is ungentlemanly.
“He’s jealous and pathetic. Maybe he just wants a bunker politician like himself who has nothing else outside of politics.
“He was proud of being the highest paid councillor with public money, whereas I run my own business and claim virtually nothing back from the public purse.
“He has never had the hardship of balancing work and politics. I’m willing to stand by everything I do. He’s someone who is sadly of no importance. He’s a bitter and lonely individual who’s got nothing else in his life – he’s someone people should feel sorry for.”