Henry Impey's crowning blunder

[The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, September 9th, 1919]

So the climax has come! The Mayor has reconciled himself to the inevitable, and decided to end his public career in local life. We are genuinely sorry for the break up in health which has determined this decision on his part, yet we cannot but commend the wisdom he has, at the last, displayed in the interests not only on his personal health, but also of the town's welfare.

It is an extremely unfortunate ending to a career of public work, dating back for 20 years. The British love of fairness compels the acknowledgement Luton loses by the retirement of Councillor Impey one who was zealous in his devotion to the requirements of his public positions, and made himself extremely capable in certain phases of public work, but candour requires it to be also recorded that these attributes, in the main, sprang from a spirit of personal pushfulness and ambition carried to excess.

Councillor Impey's fatal mistake was a determination to equal the record set up by his East Ward colleague in public work, Councillor Primett, of occupying the dual role of Mayor and Chairman of the Board of Guardians. The indiscretion into which this led him, when last year he was defeated for the chairmanship of the Board, and again this year when someone else was nominated in opposition to his promotion will be well remembered, and it is hardly necessary to recall how a year ago he allowed himself to the pushed for the Mayoralty in the face of such opposition that the office fell to him by only one vote.

It was a crowning blunder. He was not the man to be the Peace Mayor, temperamentally or otherwise.



We hear the notices issued for the next Council meeting will include one for a “to be” meeting to consider the Mayoralty for next year, and we hope the ratepayers will lose not a moment in entering an emphatic protest against the present Council settling this important question. The six councillors elected on November 1st are entitled more than any to a voice in it, and the choice of Mayor should be left until after that date.

Meantime the question everybody is asking is : Who will follow the Mayor into retirement from the Council? Report is busy with the names of Councillor George Warren and Councillor Stewart Hubbard and others.

The resolution passed at a large and thoroughly representative meeting of ratepayers can scarcely fail to have some moral effect. There are unquestionably councillors who still possess the confidence of the burgesses, and our suggestion to them is that their position would be more secure and satisfactory to all concerned if they seek and obtain a fresh mandate from the electors, than if they hold on to their legal rights. We believe more than one member is inclined to look at it in that light.

With respect to the six ordinary vacancies, we have reason to believe the Liberal and Unionist parties will be recommended to respect one another's seats.