Tory councillor runs constituency from Afghanistan

THEY say some go beyond the call of duty, but a British councillor is managing his constituency from Afghanistan while serving with the Parachute Regiment, it emerged yesterday.

Conservative councillor David Reynolds is a reservist Lieutenant Colonel with the elite force and was deployed to Helmand Province in July, two months after he won a seat on Plymouth City Council.

Lt Col Reynolds is replying to constituents’ letters and council questions, which the authority is forwarding to him, while working as spokesman for Task Force Helmand.

He said the work is “very challenging” and he is receiving support from all political parties.

“The council has been great,” he said.

“All my emails have been forwarded to me, allowing me to keep in touch with constituents’ concerns and answer questions from the council and my own party. I have also had messages of support from both my own party and the opposition.”

The operation is Lt Col Reynolds’ third deployment to Afghanistan; he was sent to the former Soviet air base at Bagram in 2002 following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US and he also served vin the country in 2006.

He is working on the Kajaki dam project which involved British forces overseeing the delivery of a 200-tonne turbine over a distance of 110 miles.

The dam provides a limited amount of hydro-electric power to parts of Helmand and Kandahar Provinces and it is hoped the installation of the new turbine should allow this to be substantially increased.

On Saturday, Lance Corporal Nicky Mason, 26, from Aveley in Essex, died in an explosion near the new turbine.

Lt Col Reynolds, who runs a publishing company in Plymouth, Devon, said the loss of soldiers during the conflict was difficult to deal with.

He said: “We have lost a lot of soldiers, the sacrifice this summer has been high and one of my jobs is to make comment to the media about that loss.

“I have tried to think about the family and the soldier’s mates, but it is not easy.

“Overwhelmingly our task here is to deliver stability in order that the country can rebuild itself.”

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