ALTRINCHAM residents have been left scratching their heads after a well-known councillor ‘vanished’ from the political and public arena.
Cllr Matthew Sephton has been an Altrincham ward member since 2014 but since this weekend, his contact details have been removed from the council’s website and his Twitter profile deleted.
This has led to confusion, with some questioning if Cllr Sephton, who is deputy chairman for the Altrincham and Sale West Conservatives, has left the party.
Dan Jerrome, a Green Party campaigner for Altrincham, said party members have been questioning why Cllr Sephton’s social media accounts were deactivated.
He also queried why the Tory councillor’s party name has been removed from the council website. On Cllr Sephton’s profile on the website, the party name has been changed from ‘Conservative’ to ‘None’. Cllr Sephton is the only councillor to not belong to a party on the site.
Cllr Sephton’s contact details, including his telephone number and address for constituents’ correspondence, have been removed and replaced with Trafford Town Hall’s general postal address.
The only point of contact is a Trafford Council-allocated email address.
The Messenger was unable to contact Cllr Sephton for comment.
“It has come to my attention that Councillor Matthew Sephton, representing Altrincham ward on Trafford Council, is no longer listed as representing the Conservative party, according to trafford.gov.uk,” said Dan.
“If it is indeed the case that he is now an independent councillor, I hope that a full explanation will be provided promptly by Councillor Sephton and/or the local Conservative party.
“The residents whom he was elected to represent have a right to be fully informed of what has led to this situation.
“Councillors are, of course, entitled to complete their term as an independent member. However, if it is correct that Councillor Sephton has left the Conservatives, I would ask him to consider whether remaining in his position on the council would properly respect the wishes of Altrincham residents.”
Former Liberal Democrats councillor Neil Taylor took to Twitter to highlight the discrepancy on the website.
Cllr Neil Taylor tweeted Sean Anstee: “@seananstee Hey Sean what happened to #altrincham ward Conservative Cllr. Matthew Sephton” and also “Seems #altrincham Tory Cllr Matthew Sephton is no longer a Tory What is going on”.
There was no reply from the leader.
Other twitter users said the swift deletion was a ‘mystery’ and said the councillor seems to have just ‘vanished’.
The Messenger asked Trafford Council if Cllr Sephton was still a Trafford Councillor, did he still belong to the Conservative party, and had he been suspended from his position.
It also asked why his contact details had been removed from the council website and what was happening to his responsibilities.
Trafford Council declined to comment to all questions posed.
The Messenger also contacted the Conservative party’s North West office to ask if was still a member of the Conservative party and had he been suspended. The office declined to comment on both questions.