Cllr Terry Waters: 'I resign'

A COUNCILLOR who resigned before he was due to face a disciplinary hearing, said he has been "overwhelmed" by the support he has received.

Sixty-seven-year-old Terry Waters, who has represented The Rows and Eriswell ward on Forest Heath Council for nearly

seven years, said he had received many letters and phone calls supporting his action.

Mr Waters branded the Adjudication Panel for England's hearing, which is due to get under way on Monday, a "kangaroo

court" when he announced his resignation at a meeting of the council's planning committee.

The hearing, due to take place at the Priory Hotel in Bury St

Edmunds on Monday and Tuesday, was called following an investigation by the Standards Board into a planning application made by Mr Waters' son James.

Forest Heath Council was found guilty of maladministration by the local government ombudsman after a complaint about the approval of the application to build houses at Beck Row, near Mildenhall.

The ombudsman said the decision had "the appearance of bias

and favouritism".

But Mr Waters has maintained he had no influence over the decision and took no part in the meeting when the vote was

taken to approve his son's development.

He said he believed the hearing had already decided he was

guilty because he had criticised a council officer and that his side of the story, which included complaints about the way council officials had behaved, had been "totally disregarded".

He said: "I refuse to be gagged and once you are suspended you

cannot say anything.

"Do not think when I am no longer a councillor I will sit and

be quiet.

"To the contrary, I will bring out the true facts so the

public who elected me can make up their own minds."

Mr Waters, a landowner in the Mildenhall area, was previously

suspended for nine months by an Adjudication Panel hearing for

remarks he made about a council official.

Cllr John McGhee, who represents Mildenhall's Market ward, will still face the Adjudication Panel hearing next week in connection with the same planning application.

Mr Waters said he would still attend the hearing to support

Cllr McGhee.