Dunmow mayor removes chains and storms out of town council meeting after vote of no confidence
PUBLISHED: 13:28 26 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:50 26 August 2016
Confusion reigns over the position of Dunmow’s mayor Milan Milovanovic after he took off his chains and walked out of a controversial town council meeting last night (Thursday Aug 25).
Councillor Milovanovic said he was asked to leave the full town council meeting after a majority of councillors approved a vote of no confidence.
The mayor, who has been in office for just over three months, said he had just begun his statement regarding the issue of travellers on Dunmow Recreation Ground when the vote was called.
Other councillors claim the vote of no confidence was over his chairmanship of the meeting and town clerk Caroline Fuller is seeking advice from the Essex Association of Local Councils regarding the situation.
Cllr Milovanovic said: “I’m very sad and upset about it. I had just started my factual report into the handling of the issue of travellers on Dunmow Recreation Ground when I was shouted down and the vote of no confidence was called. It wasn’t unanimous but the majority of councillors approved it.”
Cllr Milovanovic said councillors took issue with the beginning of his statement, which made reference to how the situation with the travellers could have been resolved faster.
He said: “I think they saw my report as a personal attack on the town clerk, but had I been allowed the courtesy to get beyond three paragraphs, they would have seen that that wasn’t the case.
“I actually wanted to thank the town clerk and others for their hard work in dealing with the situation.
“But if that’s the way this town council wants to conduct itself then I’m better off out of it. I represent the people and they deserve transparency.
“The council denied the facts and I felt as though I was a gladiator in a pit with chained lions. I feel as though I was bullied and above all I’m sad for this town because it deserves better. It’s left a very sour taste.”
Cllr Milovanovic claims the vote of no confidence was made against him as mayor and is now considering his position as a town councillor.
He said: “If they have no confidence in me as a mayor then how can I continue as a town councillor? I am considering stepping down and part of me feels as though it is the right thing to do.”
Councillor Alex Armstrong said: “It was quite a heated meeting with a lot of people there to hear a lot of issues, particularly regarding the travellers. It was my understanding that the vote of no confidence was over how Milan was chairing the meeting as some people felt he wasn’t getting to the point. The whole thing is disappointing because it is taking away from the very issues that need to be resolved.”
Caroline Fuller, town clerk, said: “I’m seeking advice from the Essex Association of Local Councils because this isn’t a position I have been in before.
“It all happened so quickly, all I have down in the minutes is that the vote of no confidence was passed. I haven’t spoken to the mayor yet so I do not know his intentions.”
The clerk added that a court summons will be served on the travellers at the recreation ground today (Aug 26), with the case to be heard at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, August 31.