Wakefield councillors 'no longer do surgeries alone' as precaution

The leader of Wakefield Council has said local elected members no longer do ward surgeries by themselves.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 5:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 5:18 pm
Coun Jeffery said it was a "worrying time".

Denise Jeffery said the measure was taken as a precaution by councillors, amid what she described as a "worrying time" for people in public life.

The issue of politicians' safety has been highlighted again following the death of Southend MP Sir David Amess, who was killed while conducting his surgery on October 15.

It came just five years after Batley and Birstall MP Jo Cox was also brutally murdered in her constituency.

Sir David Amess was killed in Southend while holding a constituency surgery.

Speaking on a Q&A session on Facebook on Tuesday, Coun Jeffery described Sir David's death as a "terrible tragedy".

She added: "We never thought we'd see it again after Jo Cox, but here we are again five years later.

"As councillors, we do worry.

"We are having to take more care and not do surgeries alone anymore."

Numerous MPs, including Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford's Yvette Cooper and Morley and Outwood's Andrea Jenkyns, have been the victims of abuse and threats in recent years.

Coun Jeffery added: "We are having to be vigilant.

"It’s important that the public are vigilant as well as the council, and if they have any suspicions then it’s best to report it.

"But it is a worrying time."

Local Democracy Reporting Service