A LIBERAL Democrat councillor has faced criticism of taking credit for others' work in an election leaflet.

Tim Bearder, the county councillor for Wheatley, has also faced calls to resign either his post in Oxfordshire, or another council seat he holds on Eastleigh Borough Council.

Mr Bearder described the calls as 'nothing more than political spin confected to score points shortly before an election'.

In a letter to Mr Bearder shown to this paper, several Wheatley Parish Councillors aired their concerns about a leaflet promoting the Lib Dem candidate for the local election today.

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Mr Bearder's leaflet included a 'record of delivery', including paying for improvements at Farm Close playground and bringing back a bus service between Wheatley and Temple Cowley through Horspath.

However, an open letter by former Conservative parish councillor Michael Booth, and signed by colleagues, took umbrage with some of the claims.

On the bus service for example, the letter said: "The reinstatement of this service was planned long before your tenure on the county council. This was actually a cross-party effort... and you were yet to win your by-election when it was actually agreed."

At the same time, Mr Bearder has faced calls from Conservatives, including his local MP John Howell, to stand down from either his Oxfordshire seat or his seat on Eastleigh Borough Council in Hampshire.

Mr Howell had said: "It is quite clear that Mr Bearder’s knowledge of Oxfordshire is lacking and that is to the disadvantage of those he seeks to represent."

Tim Bearders record of delivery in an election leaflet.

Tim Bearder's record of delivery in an election leaflet.

Mr Howell gave the example of the claims that the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway could still be introduced 'by stealth' as being misleading.

In response, Mr Bearder said: "In reality this is nothing more than political spin confected to score points shortly before an election. My position is entirely legal and in line with the constitution of the councils on which I serve. If people don’t feel I am doing a good job they can replace me with a Conservative at the ballot box on Thursday.

"Until now - despite having multiple opportunities to do so they have not - which speaks volumes about how serious an issue my residents feel this really is and what they think about the nasty party's insidious tactics using two MPs to attack their hardworking local councillor."

He added Mr Howell had been misleading on the Expressway, as in 2019 the MP had tweeted it had been cancelled, when it was in fact paused.

Similar calls for Mr Bearder to stand down have been made in his Eastleigh ward, led by the local Conservative MP, Paul Holmes.

It is understood Wheatley is a target seat in the county council elections for the Conservatives.

When Mr Bearder won the seat in a 2018 by-election, he won 61 per cent of the vote, or 1,380 votes overall.

John Patrick Walsh, the Conservative Party candidate, won 31 per cent of the vote, or 705 votes.