Departing councillor likens North Norfolk District Council to North Korea
Two more North Norfolk district councillors have quit the Conservative group, in the latest of a string of similar resignations.
Doug Smith has become the sixth councillor in recent months to resign from the group after being suspended by Conservative council leader Tom FitzPatrick.
He will represent Sheringham North as a member of the Independent Group, from his home in Kent.
Meanwhile, Annie Green has also quit and she will represent the Wensum ward as a member of the Independent Group.
They join fellow councillors Nick Coppack, Angie Fitch-Tillett, John Rest, and Georgie Perry-Warnes, who all joined the Independent group after quitting, and Nigel Pearce, who joined the Lib Dem group on the council after he resigned.
The Independents have formed a new political group, registered with North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), called the Independent Group.
Mr Coppack, the leader of the Independent Group, said: “Our motto is, ‘Nurturing People not Power’. We believe that all councillors are elected to represent their individual wards and, therefore, their opinions should be taken into consideration in order to provide a balanced, overarching view of the district, and to ensure that the decisions taken are fair and reflect the differing needs of all communities.”
On his reason for quitting, Mr Smith said: “I wanted to join a group whose respect for people’s opinions is not based on those of North Korea.”
Mr FitzPatrick had previously called on Mr Smith to resign and allow a by-election in Sheringham North, after his move to Kent.
Mr FitzPatrick said: “However, Mr Smith had announced that he did not intend to resign at present, as he felt that he could carry out his work as a councillor despite no longer living in Norfolk.
“Following Mr Smith declining to stand down to allow a by-election, I suspended him from the Conservative Group. He has now decided to resign from the Conservatives and represent Sheringham North as a member of the Independent Group. However, I continue to believe that it is not possible to represent North Norfolk residents from Kent and look forward to a by-election in the near future.”