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Parish says there is "no confidence" in county councillor amid northern bypass debate

PUBLISHED: 19:01 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:28 10 October 2019

Protestors gathered in the Cornhill before marching to council offices to hand over a petition opposing plans for a northern bypass in Ipswich.  Picture: Neil Didsbury

Protestors gathered in the Cornhill before marching to council offices to hand over a petition opposing plans for a northern bypass in Ipswich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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A Suffolk parish has said it no longer has confidence in its county councillor after failing to represent the views of his electorate during the controversial northern bypass debates.

Little Bealings Parish Council said it had no confidence in Robin Vickery. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLittle Bealings Parish Council said it had no confidence in Robin Vickery. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Conservative Robin Vickery, Suffolk county councillor for the Carlford division and Ipswich borough councillor for Castle Hill became embroiled in the recent northern bypass consultation.

Mr Vickery's borough representatives are largely in favour of a bypass, but with the proposed route going through some of his county council division has attracted opposition from constituents there.

Mr Vickery came out in favour of a bypass, which has now led Little Bealings Parish Council to formally declare that it has no confidence in him.

In its statement, the parish council said: "It is with great regret that Little Bealings Parish Council has decided that it no longer has confidence in its elected county councillor, Robin Vickery.

"This is as a result of his decision to support a route for the Ipswich northern bypass and not to represent the views of his electorate.

"When Mr Vickery did not attend our meeting in September we asked him to let us know by the end of the month whether he would be representing his electorate's views on the route but that, if we did not receive a reply, the parish council would have to conclude that he was continuing to support the project and that it therefore had no confidence in him as our elected representative.

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"We have not heard from Mr Vickery and it is very sad that the council felt it was left with no alternative but to make this decision."

It is understood that Mr Vickery does not plan to contest his county council seat at the next election.

Andrew Reid, chairman of the Conservative group at the county council said: "Councillor Robin Vickery has been a hardworking and conscientious councillor for many years. On this occasion, he has a different view to one of his parish councils.

"That may happen, from time to time, for any councillor. It certainly does not change the fact that Councillor Vickery will continue to work hard for the people he represents."

Mr Vickery has been approached for comment.

A council spokeswoman confirmed that no formal complaints had been received over Mr Vickery's approach to the northern bypass consultation.

The consultation ended last month, with responses now being collated and data analysed.

It is not yet clear when the consultation response report will be published, or when Suffolk County Council will outline the next steps in a strategic outline business case.

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