City councillor and former publican Andy Pearson puts forward his £13,000 money saving plan to avoid costly by-election

Ely councillors Andy Pearson, Elaine Griffin-Singh and Mike Rouse.

Ely councillors Andy Pearson, Elaine Griffin-Singh and Mike Rouse. - Credit: Archant

An Ely councillor who is leaving the city for pastures new has opted to give up his allowances but to remain helping his constituents via email and phone calls to avoid a costly by-election.

Councillor Andy Pearson will continue in his role unpaid until May next year to avoid East Cambridgeshire District Council having to fork out around £13,000 for a by-election.

His Ely North seat will disappear next year anyway when boundary changes shrink the council from 39 to 28 seats.

Cllr Pearson said: “My wife Jo and I have loved living in Ely and will be sad to leave, but I am totally committed to continuing to support residents right up to May 2019 when my seat in Ely North disappears.

“I believe avoiding the cost of a by-election and going without my allowance is the right thing to do.”

Cllr Pearson’s seat is one that will disappear as the ward is due to reduce from three seats to two.

He says he will continue to support residents via email and telephone, with anything that requires face to face work being picked up by his fellow ward councillors Elaine Griffin-Singh and Mike Rouse.

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He will also be attending enough council meetings to ensure a by-election does not become necessary.

Cllr Pearson’s day job has been as a regional fund raising manager for Guide Dogs for the Blind but he will probably be best remembered in Ely for running, with his wife, the popular Drayman’s pub in Forehill.

They took over the micro pub – then known as The Liberty Belle – in 2015 with Mrs Pearson mainly running it day to day.

Last year they sold it to a local micro brewery, Three Blind Mice, having won a host of awards during their short tenure for the quality of their real ale.

“It’s been an honour owning this place and we will miss it but we only sold to a group of fellas who we know will do what’s right and carry on where we left off,” he said.

The Drayman’s has been praised for its beer and service and has an astonishingly high rating on Trip Advisor – of 134 recent reviews, 117 labelled it as excellent and 17 as very good. There were no negative comments.

“If in Ely make this your first knocks its competitors into a cocked hat,” wrote one recent visitor. “Keep it up pub of the year thus far. 5 stars all day long.”

During his time on the council Cllr Pearson has been service delivery champion for leisure and community services.