Honiton town councillor quits on the spot and brands authority 'alienated' in scathing speech

PUBLISHED: 19:48 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:12 17 May 2019

Mike Jones has quit Honiton Town Council. Picture: Callum Lawton

Mike Jones has quit Honiton Town Council. Picture: Callum Lawton

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A Honiton town councillor has resigned at the first meeting since he was re-elected after voicing fears that the authority will be 'plunged back into the void'.

Mike Jones used his position as a councillor with special responsibilities to quit the council when it met on Monday evening (May 13).

Mr Jones made an impassioned speech to the town council, which he branded as 'alienated' and 'so focused on previous historic decisions'.

His resignation was accepted by newly-elected mayor John Zarcyznski, who thanked him for his service, but questioned his choice to resign after he was re-elected to the council.

In his speech, Mr Jones aid: "Due to what I believe is the poor public perception of the council, none of us fought an election or have a legitimate mandate from the community.

"I personally do not feel comfortable with this, although I am told it has happened before.

"Since being elected in March 2017, I have seen councillor numbers decrease from a full 18 now down to 12. This is a worrying trend as we are supposed to be here to serve the people of Honiton."

Mr Jones said he has 'growing concerns' over the 'continual need' by some members to pursue litigation - an effort he said he did not see reflected in supporting community projects.

He added: "Last year was an opportunity to move forwards, but now it appears with the election of the new 2019 administration, we will be plunged back into that void - losing ties with groups some of us worked extremely hard to rebuild.

"To spend another year or so focused on previous historic decisions and using council resources, in my view, is not what we are here for."

He added: "With the lack of new representation, obviously the ratepayers hold a very dim view of this council.

"It shows how alienated we have become.

"It is with a heart that I therefore tender my resignation with immediate effect - I despair for this organisation's future and I apologise for the people who asked me to stay on.

"Unfortunately, I feel I can't."

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