Paul Brant – A sad Loss to Liverpool

No-one was more shocked, saddened and disappointed by the news on Monday night that Paul Brant had resigned from Liverpool Council than me.

I don’t know why he felt he had to resign and I have no intention of speculating on his reasons. I have always found Paul to be a man of utmost integrity and possessing a faithful commitment to the City of Liverpool. Although I did not always agree with his reasons and arguments – let’s face it for 17 years we have sat on opposite sides of the Chamber – I have never once doubted his motivations.

Paul Brant was a star on the Labour benches, knowledgeable, committed, able to put forward arguments in a clinical way; able to disarm people with a sharp reply but more likely to do it with an unthreatening joke or a whimsical query. Politics generally does not have enough people of Paul’s calibre. All Parties struggle to find people with political commitment; community commitment and intellectual capacity. Paul was one of the few in Liverpool who ticked all those three boxes. I know that he will be a particular loss to the Labour Group but Liverpool as a whole will miss his sharp brain in the current financial difficulties.

He has resigned for person reasons – I don’t want to know what they are. However, perhaps the departure of such a star will remind the sneerers and jeerers of the price that people of Paul’s quality pay to be a councillor. Paul has rightly been paid to be a councillor and to be the Deputy Mayor. Outside the council, however, he is a successful barrister. Every day- even every hour – that he spent on council business cost him money. I am sure that he did not look at it that way anymore than I do but it is a fact.

Too many people sit on couches; don’t lift their backside from their seat for a moment and feel able to comment on the integrity of those people who do commit themselves (and their families) to political life. We don’t get vast amounts of cash, we don’t get a lot of perks, and local government in the UK is magnificently free of corruption.

We do get evening after evening spent away from our families; continued criticism of what we cannot do; no credit for what we do achieve; personal vilification from some people and a continued chorus “You are only in it for yourselves”.
Most councillors I know are not stars but go about their work with great commitment and sacrifice. Being a councillor is not a good career choice; spouses are rarely delighted with the idea; children (and now grandchildren in my case) suffer.

I have had great satisfaction from being a councillor. I have friends from all parties in Liverpool; the UK and latterly across the World. I can show you things in my ward and my city which happened because I helped them happen. I get a tremendous kick out of helping people achieve things for themselves and their communities. I know that such satisfactions are the same for 99% of those that serve in elected office.

So please remember the difficulties that we face in carrying out our duties. We are not in it for ourselves but choose to serve our communities by seeking and maintaining elected office as our way of contributing to the common good.

Paul I hope things work out well for you and yours. Come back to us all as soon as you can.

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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. UK representative on UCLG Finance Committee, Executive Bureau and World Council. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperon on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and three grandchildren.
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14 Responses to Paul Brant – A sad Loss to Liverpool

  1. joedd says:

    what a sob story…… are we or I suppose to feel sorry for the former elected member …..you comment about him being a Councillor cost him money in his other job as a ”Barrister”……… what a crass thing to say when he implemented all the cuts…. If being a Councillor brings you difficulties walk away like Mr Brant…….please keep the sob stories to someone who cares. What every Councillor must never forget ”we plucked you from obscurity and we can put you back there”……….. Elected members are servants of the people – if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen……

  2. Pingback: Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #349

  3. Jim Jones says:

    To the middle class Richard Kemp: Do you ever think about the poor? Do you ever think about people who are working for buttons? Do you ever think about people suffering the evil bedroom tax. Do you ever think about expecting people to live on the joke minimum wage? You middle class people make me sick. You sing praises to each other but forget the misery being suffered by millions of working class people, who blindly elected you. I say: “Good riddance to Paul Brant

  4. curious says:

    We only need to look at the unreasonable expenses SOME of you local councillors claim and the many surgeries SOME of you don’t attend but still get paid for. Check out The Champion/Bootle Times/Crosby Herald/Southport Visiter/Omrksirk Advertiser for confirmation. I don’t believe you all put yourselves forward for this role out of your concern for the communities in which you serve. I do believe SOME of you are in it for what you can get personally, which is a crying shame for the ones amongst you who are genuine.

  5. joedd says:

    ………what are we going to do about it……. simple ”vote you out”

  6. MalcolmC says:

    Do you really believe that local government in the UK is magnificently free of corruption? If you do then you inhabit a very different world from that of the rest of us! You’re not a member of Common Purpose are you?

  7. Rebecca Lawson says:

    Thanks for your blog post, Richard. Paul Brant was my local councillor and he was a really good, hard-working local politician and I am glad to hear that he is now returning to politics.

    I agree with what you say about local councillors. It is a difficult, time-consuming and largely thankless job and I really appreciate those people who do it. I find the other responses to your blog depressing but typical of people that I meet. For some reason many people seem to think that politicians are doing it for the wrong reasons, that they are corrupt or want the money or glory. I don’t know where that idea comes from but if you think that then why not turn up at a Liverpool City Council meeting (they are open to the public, see http://liverpool.gov.uk/council/councillors-and-committees/ and http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=305) and find out what your local councillors actually do rather than rely on what little gets reported in the papers?

  8. joedd says:

    well we now know why he resigned – he was arrested for being in possession of a class A drug…….” a fine example of a Labour Councillor ” it will be interesting to find out how he was arrested – I’m sure all the details will slowly filter through……

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