Cllr Andrew Cumpsty has decided not to contest the May 22nd election despite having been re-selected by the local Conservatives to stand in the Caversham ward he has represented since 2004.
Cllr Andrew Cumpsty explained, “I have had to make the painful decision not to stand for re-election this May in order to focus on developing the business I set up a couple of years ago. I had hoped to continue to serve the people of Caversham ward but have had to accept that this is not possible while building my business which has grown rapidly in the last few months.”
Conservative Group Leader Cllr Jeanette Skeats said, “I am really sorry that Andrew has stepped down. He has been a popular and well-respected local Councillor in Caversham ward and served the people of Reading with distinction as Leader of the Council in 2010/11. He will be hard to replace and I very much hope that in due course Andrew will be in a position to return to the Conservative group on the Council.”
Cllr Andrew Cumpsty served as Leader of the Council in 2010/11 when he led a coalition of Conservatives and Lib Dems to overturn years of Labour domination of Reading. Recently as Conservative Culture spokesman he has developed the idea of a dedicated Arts Centre in a restored “Abbey Quarter”, a concept he first promoted while Leader of the Council.
Reading East Conservatives have selected Geoff Poland to stand for Caversham ward. Geoff was President of the Reading Chamber of Commerce and now lives in central Reading. Geoff is an independent personal financial advisor and has helped many people in Reading through his work with Reading Matins Rotary Club. He was a Trustee and Treasurer of “British Community Trust – Peru” which is a project set up by a former Ambassador to the country to provide help and financial support to street children and financially disadvantaged children within that country.
Councillor Cumpsty continued, “I am delighted that Reading East Conservatives have selected Geoff Poland. With his strong Reading roots and strong connections with local business he will make a fantastic Councillor for Caversham ward and I intend to do everything I can to secure his election next month.”