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Mid Suffolk: Criticised Stowmarket councillor to leave due to ill health

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 January 2014

UKIP councillor Frank Whittle at Mid Suffolk District Council

UKIP councillor Frank Whittle at Mid Suffolk District Council

A councillor who has been criticised for his attendance at meetings is now considering his position due to ill-health.

Frank Whittle, Mid Suffolk UKIP councillor for Stowmarket North, said he would be “giving up” as he has “had enough” of being on the council.

The 80-year-old came under fire in last month’s full council meeting for failing to attend any planning committee meetings.

Mr Whittle resigned from his position on the development control committee ‘A’ meeting 10 days after joining last June.

He said it was his diabetes and other medical conditions which had been affecting his ability to get to meetings. His attendance at full council for 2013/14, which he is obliged to attend, is currently 50%.

In the full council meeting councillor Matthew Hicks, who is chairman of the planning committee, said: “He’s not been part of a one single meeting for planning A, because of his decision not to be at the meeting the rest of the members are being penalised.”

Councillor John Whitehead, planning portfolio holder said: “This has been an ongoing problem I admit, and I will have to get back to you on that.”

Mr Whittle, who has been a district councillor since 2003, said he would not put himself up for re-election next year and would consider his position going forward.

When asked whether he could still adequately represent his electors he said “to be honest no”.

“I’m feeling a bit better now, I had so much done on me it’s unbelievable over the last few months,” he said.

“I have had diabetes for 10 years and as time goes on it does not get any better.”

He said he had a demanding role when he was chairman of the licensing committee in 2007/08 because of changes to legislation affecting pubs and clubs. A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk District Council said if Mr Whittle wanted to resign he needed to write to the chief executive. He left the Conservative Party to join the UK Independence Party in January last year after becoming “thoroughly disillusioned” with their policies.

Stowmarket Road in Great Blakenham was closed on Saturday night after a car left the road and crashed into a house.

Police have named the van driver who died in an accident on the Orwell Bridge on Friday as 67-year-old Michael (Mick) Rayner from Essex.

A new customer service office has opened in Sudbury as Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils prepare to move their main operations to Ipswich where they will share Suffolk’s Endeavour House headquarters.

Road crews from Highways England will be working at the following sites on East Anglia’s busiest roads over the next week – so this is where drivers can expect to find delays:

Colchester MP Will Quince was visibly moved as the House of Commons passed a new law giving parents the right to compassionate leave from work after suffering the tragedy of stillbirth.

The snooker area at Bears Pool & Snooker Club in Ipswich has now opened following the venue relaunch this summer.

A primary school student is counting down the days until the Bury St Edmunds Round Table fireworks display after winning an artwork competition to be the VIP.

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