NEIGHBOURS of a borough councillor who said he moved to London to live with his girlfriend during lockdown claim he has not been living in the borough for “several years”.

As previously reported, Cllr Tristan Robinson’s eligibility to stand in the upcoming elections was questioned after he moved in with his girlfriend in London during the last lockdown.

Residents raised concerns that Cllr Robinson had been deceitful about where he lives and should not be allowed to stand in May’s elections in Sherborne St John and Rooksdown for the Conservative party because he has not been living at the address listed on election documents.

Documents published by the borough council showing those nominated to stand in the elections state Cllr Robinson’s home address is in Sherfield-on-Loddon – the same address as his father and fellow Conservative councillor Nick Robinson.

However, neighbours told the Gazette that 29-year-old Cllr Tristan Robinson has not been living there for several years.

One, who lives a few doors away, initially asked who he was.

When informed he is the son of Nick Robinson, she replied: “It’s been a couple of years we haven’t seen him.”

Another neighbour, Roger Roberts, who has lived along the same road for 47 years, claimed Cllr Robinson moved away two-and-a-half years ago.

The 69-year-old said: “He pops home and came back in between lockdowns,” adding: “But if there’s a problem and residents want to get in touch with him as a borough councillor, I understand he’s living in London.”

Another neighbour, Rose Allbut, said Cllr Robinson told her last March that he now lives in London with his girlfriend, adding: “He regularly visits his parents’ home at Wayback on Greenway but definitely no longer lives there. If you call round there, he will not be there.”

The Gazette did call round to try and speak with Cllr Tristan Robinson and we also observed his home at various times over a week.

We saw Cllr Nick Robinson on several occasions, but never Cllr Tristan Robinson.

When we visited to try and speak with Cllr Tristan Robinson, a man was attempting to deliver a large crate of thousands of leaflets addressed to him.

He told the Gazette it was the second day in a row he had not been able to obtain a signature for them.

Cllr Nick Robinson then arrived and accepted the delivery. He told the Gazette that his son had not stated on his nomination form that he has lived in the borough for the last 12 months.

The Electoral Commission states that candidates standing at local election must meet one of four qualifying criteria, which includes living in the local authority area during the whole of the 12 months before the election.

The other criteria are being registered as a local government elector; occupying land or other premises in the local authority area for 12 months before the elections; and working in the local authority area for 12 months before he elections.

Cllr Robinson, who is cabinet member for homes and families, works in West Sussex.

Concerns have also been raised regarding Cllr Robinson visiting the borough during the last lockdown when he was living in London, and when the government asked everyone to ‘stay at home’.

Cllr Robinson said: “I’m pleased that people recognise my ongoing steadfast commitment to residents in Sherborne St John ward. As part of my work as a councillor, in the past few months I have had face to face meetings with parish councils, officers and stakeholders, all within Government guidance, as residents would expect of their local councillor.”

Cllr Robinson said he is now living back with his father in Sherfield-on-Loddon and only moved out during lockdown. 

To read his full statement click here.