Get well wishes after senior councillor seriously injured in 30ft fall at home

The Westmorland Gazette: Coun Jo Stephenson at his home in Windermere Coun Jo Stephenson at his home in Windermere

A HIGH-ranking local politician is in hospital with serious injuries after a 30 foot fall from his home in Windermere.

Liberal Democrat Coun Jo Stephenson suffered a broken pelvis, punctured lung and chest injuries following an incident last Friday morning (July 4).

The Westmorland Liberal Democrats said Coun Stephenson had fallen out of a window while checking some work he had had done and slipped and fell.

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Having been taken initially to the Royal Preston Hospital, Coun Stephenson has now been transferred to Withington Hospital in Manchester.

The North West Ambulance Service said they were called to a property in the town's Hazel Street.

Ambulance officials said a man was taken to Royal Preston Hospital by ambulance on major traumastandby with chest and pelvic injuries.

However, Coun Stephenson’s family have not been available for comment and Cumbria Police said they were not aware of the incident.

Coun Stephenson is a self-employed solicitor by profession and a B&B proprietor. He is also deputy leader of Cumbria County Council and leads the Liberal Democrat group on the authority.

He is the county council’s finance portfolio holder and represents Windermere on the county council and on South Lakeland District Council.

Coun Stephenson has been in the public firing line in recent weeks after angry public protests over the introduction of on-street parking charges in the Lake District.

Westmorland MP Tim Farron issued a short statement, which read: “This is awful to hear. I wish Jo a quick and speedy recovery.”

Mr Farron’s office, together with Coun Colin Jones, an SLDC councillor representing Bowness North, are said to be helping with Coun Stephenson's casework in the intervening period.

And SLDC council leader, Peter Thornton said: “We are sorry to hear that Jo has had an accident and is in hospital. We send him our very best wishes and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Coun Stephenson is a director of the Nineoaks Housing Trust and the Lake District Housing Association.

Out of politics, he is a keen member of Grasmere Players and had been playing the principal part of Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which has its last night on Thursday, directed by wife Hilary.

A Cumbria County Council spokesman said: “Councillor Jo Stephenson had a fall at home at the weekend and is receiving treatment in hospital.

“He is doing well and everyone at the county council wishes him a speedy recovery.”

Coun David Williams, leader of the Tories on SLDC, said he had popped round to the Stephenson’s home with a card and wished him well.

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