A COUNCILLOR is being urged to “make a decision” over the area he wants to represent after it emerged he has been elected both in Hampshire and Oxfordshire.

Liberal Democrats Tim Bearder was elected in November 2018 to represent Wheatley on Oxfordshire County Council.

But on May 2, 2019 he was also elected as West End South councillor at Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC). 

He said he has also been serving as a parish councillor in West End since last November.

The seats he won have more than 60 miles between them but he said this will not affect his work.

However, opposition councillors in Eastleigh are asking him to consider whether he can effectively represent both areas . 

Louise Parker-Jones, independent councillor for Bishopstoke ward (EBC) and leader of the Independent Group, said

: “He can’t do both, I think his electorate deserves him to make a decision.  ”

Cllr Parker-Jones said councillors should live and work in the area they represent otherwise they lose touch with the wishes of their electorate.

She added: “You need to give them a voice and ensure these voices are heard so if you are not living there and hearing it you are giving people the voice of the party you belong to.”

It is understood Cllr Bearder receives a total basic allowance of £17,000 for his roles as a county and borough councillor.

A spokesman for EBC said it is legal to stand in areas which are miles away from each other and confirmed that Cllr Bearder informed EBC of his role at Oxfordshire County Council. The spokesman for EBC explained that candidates have to prove they either work or live where they are standing as a councillor and said councillor Bearder proved he lives in West End.

Cllr Bearder said he will continue to represent both areas. He said to have a very flexible job as he works as a film-maker. He added: “I work across Oxfordshire and Eastleigh and I divide my time between them.  I may be in  Eastleigh a couple of weeks, come up to Oxford for a couple of weeks but if there are things I have to do in that period of time I travel.I’m committed to make sure I won’t let anybody down. "