Tories suspend Dunmow councillor from Uttlesford Conservative group
PUBLISHED: 12:29 15 August 2014
Conservative councillors have voted to suspend their colleague for six months after accusing him of “continually undermining the council”.
Councillor Keith Mackman, member for Dunmow South, was suspended from his group on Thursday night. Despite the blow, he has vowed to continue to support the wishes of his electorate, even if it means going against his party’s decisions.
He told the Reporter: “I think it is pathetic. Being suspended means nothing to me. I plan to continue to represent the residents of Uttlesford the same way I have done for the past three years.
“This is what I was elected to do, I understand what I was elected to do and I fully intend to continue doing it.”
The exclusion from the group comes after Cllr Mackman publicly criticised a number of decisions made by the group and the council.
He voted against the emerging draft Local Plan and was horrified when the council refused to support the planning committee’s decision to turn down a proposal from 800 homes between Elsenham and Henham, at appeal.
He said: “I think the feelings of constituents are more important than complying with the group’s policies.”
Cllr Mackman, a member of the planning committee, spoke out last month against a decision to limit the number of public speakers at planning meetings.
“As far as I am concerned if 100 people turn up to speak we should listen to all of them,” he added. “They have given up their time to be there and they are not being paid for it like us.”
A spokesman for the Conservative group said: “It was agreed at the Uttlesford Conservative Group meeting on the August 7 that Dunmow South Councillor Keith Mackman be suspended for six months.
“This was a democratic decision agreed by the members present and relates to Cllr Mackman continually undermining the council and his colleagues.
“The Conservatives at Uttlesford are keen to draw a line under the issue and move forward collectively to the elections in 2015 where candidates will campaign vigorously to ensure the work of the last seven years is continued.”