Dunmow mayor resigns after controversial town council meeting

Milan Milovanovic

Milan Milovanovic - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Dunmow, Milan Milovanovic, resigned on Friday (Aug 30) before being admitted to hospital a few hours later following a seizure.

In a letter to the Broadcast, his wife Julia says the seizure followed a controversial town council meeting the night before that saw Councillor Milovanovic take off his chains and storm out.

Cllr Milovanovic told the Broadcast he was asked to leave the meeting after a majority of councillors passed a vote of no confidence while he was speaking.

Cllr Milovanovic, who has been mayor for just over three months, said he had just begun his statement on the issue of travellers on Dunmow Recreation Ground when the vote was called.

Dunmow Town Council said the motion of no confidence was against Cllr Milovanovic on that particular item, not his position as mayor.

Speaking on Friday morning prior to his hospital admission, 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.”

The mayor added that he felt councillors took issue with the beginning of his statement, which made reference to how the situation with the travellers could have been resolved faster.

Most Read

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.”

In her letter, wife Julia said the mayor was shouted down at the full town council meeting, and his seizure followed Thursday’s events.

She said: “After the meeting on Thursday and also further communication from the council on Friday lunchtime, Mr Milovanovic suffered a seizure, which lasted over 45 minutes.

“No further comments will be made and it is requested that our privacy be respected.”

Caroline Fuller, town clerk at Dunmow Town Council, said: “During the town council meeting on Thursday, August 25, the town mayor, cllr Milan Milovanovic, began to make a statement on the traveller situation at the recreation ground.

“Councillors made several interjections asking him to get to the point, and when he continued to read his statement, councillors agreed on a vote of no confidence in the mayor on that particular item.

“Cllr Milovanovic chose to leave the meeting at that point and tendered his resignation the following day.”

An extraordinary full council meeting will be held at Dourdan Pavilion on Monday (Sept 5) to elect a new mayor.