Fourth Newmarket town councillor quits troubled authority

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A Newmarket town councillor has become the fourth this year to quit the troubled authority.

Neil Vollenhoven resigned this week after less than a year in office citing the ‘self-interest and self-indulgence’ of councillors as the reason for his decision. He follows former colleagues Jacko Fanshawe, Conrad Allen and Steve Maddox, all of whom have stepped down since the start of 2016.

Mr Vollenhoven, who was elected last May by voters in the town’s Severals Ward, has written to Mayor John Berry saying that serving as a town councillor had not lived up to his hopes and expectations.

“I told him that I felt we should be working together for the people who elected us rather than squabbling between ourselves in committees,” said Mr Vollenhoven, who was chairman of the council’s planning committee.

“I have been frustrated and dissatisfied for some time with the way council business is conducted by the councillors. We all have our own personal ideas and positions but we should be giving the public the service they want and need instead of which there are grown men and women squabbling over their own self-interest and self-indulgence.” Cllr Berry said he had been aware of Mr Vollenhoven’s concerns and very much regretted his decision to resign. “It is true that council meetings recently have become more acrimonious and have taken much longer with more argument than there should be. But as chairman, I can either cut short the discussion in which case I am accused of not allowing people to speak, or let them speak and allow the arguments go on much longer than they should. I am well aware of this problem but not entirely sure what I can do about it,” he said.