By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter
A Merton councillor has defended his move to Italy – around 1,000 miles away from the Colliers Wood ward he represents.
Councillor Dave Ward has bought a house in Palata in the Molise region and moved in earlier this week.
But the Labour councillor denies he has moved permanently. He said he does not plan to stand in next year’s May elections and will only make the full move after they take place in May.
Cllr Ward is also chairman of Merton’s planning committee and said he would fly back for the next meeting on August 19. The following meeting will be held on September 23.
He has held the post since December.
The politician has not hidden his move to Italy from the public eye, and has been sharing photographs from his journey since July 22 on Twitter, where he documented the drive from London with his partner and two dogs, Ringo and Star.
In a tweet from July 27, he posted a photo of the view from his new balcony, complete with a glass of red wine, and wrote: “We have moved in. Basics (wine and somewhere to sleep) are done. The rest of the unpacking tomorrow. M has (of course) introduced us to all of the neighbours.
“Our nearest neighbour has Nessun Dorma as the ring tone on her phone. Definitely in Italy.”
Cllr Ward said: “I am planning to come back for the planning committee on August 19. I am away for three weeks – that is a summer holiday. Everyone is allowed a summer holiday.”
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