I am not going to comment on most of the actions taken by the Leader, except to say something has to be done. But I am going to say that my sacking has baffled me and others.
The events were as follows. In a telephone conversation with the Leader of Fenland, Cllr Alan Melton on the evening of 10th October I was invited to resign to prevent the indignity of being sacked. I asked for the reason for this and I was told it was because of "community perception". I challenged and suggested that I had not seen or heard any issues in respect of this.
Having consulted a few people, I chose to decline the request. This is my exact response sent by email early this morning:
Having consulted with a few people overnight. I have decided to refuse your request to resign. If you believe I should go on the basis of public perception (which is what you stated) that a debate needs to be had in public and I would therefore prefer the process to be transparent, rather than a fudge through forced resignation.It's a bit clumsily worded because I was in a bit of a rush. But I'm sure you get the point. Being honest, I do not believe this is the real reason - I may have reacted differently if I thought I was being told bluntly and honestly what I had done wrong. I have had huge support for my behaviour in this process from across the board - but certainly there are politicians and others who do not like the robust approach I have taken - but sometimes I think being an elected community leader means you have to do that. I hope that is not the reason for my sacking, if it is it sends a dreadful, dreadful message to other councillors who choose to stand up and be counted when they feel their community has been let down (which Whittlesey has).
It is also true that I had been considering resignation anyway because I was so disappointed with the actions taken by a few people at the last planning meeting - but I was waiting for Cllr Melton's reaction to events before I took a decision. However, there is a difference between being forced to resign and resigning as a matter of conscience - and that is why I took the decision to refuse the request.