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Councillor leaves Tories over TNS row

By Jonny Drury | Oswestry | News | Published:

A Conservative councillor has stood down from the party amid a legal row between The New Saints FC and Shropshire Council.

Shropshire Council have began legal proceedings

Matt Lee, who was elected to represent Llanymynech back in 2017, also works at The Venue, the home of the Oswestry based club.

After a long running row over an unpaid £80,000 grant, the council announced that it was going to take legal action to claim the money back, with TNS club owner Mike Harris insisting he will hit back with a counter claim.

Councillor Lee, who works at the club's home ground, The Venue, has now stepped away from the ruling Conservative party to become an independent councillor.

He said his move is partly down to a clash of interest, and partly in protest of the decision by the Tory party to take action against the club.

"It is a measure to remove myself from the situation as I work for at the club, and I want to remove myself until the situation is resolved," he said,.

"Shropshire Council is Conservative run so I felt the best course of action was to step away for the time being.

"I don't believe it is the correct decision to take legal action against the club, so my move is partly in protest as well."

Deputy leader Steve Charmley said the resignation was understandable and insists he fully understands Councillor Lee's position.

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Councillor Lee, who serves on a number of committees, said he will still carry out his duties serving his constituents.

He added: "I will just become a independent councillor now for the time being.

"I will still serve my constituents in the same way and this way I think puts me in a stronger position to do that."

The grant row emerged earlier this year, when it was revealed the club had failed to pay back an £80,000.

They paid back £10,000 and said they had met the requirements of the council, however the council has now pressed ahead with legal action.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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