Shock as Ukip councillor Colin Churchman quits the party

THE UKIP councillor for Stanford East and Corringham Town has resigned from the party.

Colin Churchman was elected in May of this year. Cllr Churchman was a former Conservative councillor for Aveley and a former mayor.

But last week he was removed by his bosses from the planning committee of Thurrock after he voted to support an application to build a hospice on the green belt.

Cllr Churchman said:

"It is with regret that I now inform you that I have decided to resign my position as an elected UKIP Member as from today.

As you will know I’ve been a member of UKIP for the past two years; and I have been an elected member since May 2015.

During that time I have been a member of the planning committee at Thurrock Council, I have been approached repeatedly by the leadership of UKIP regarding planning process; and who attempted to discuss certain items of the planning agenda that would have predetermined me and left Thurrock Council open for a legal challenge and it would be unfair also to the planning applicants and the Authority and unacceptable to me.

The leader of the UKIP group continually whipped me (UKIP apparently do not whip members of their political group) because it is UKIP party policy not to support any development within the greenbelt. I also have strong views regarding development in the greenbelt. However, when you are part of the planning process and a member of the planning committee you cannot bring political policy into your decision making process and members have to be fair and open and abide to the authorities constitution and also the rules.

"When I attempted to point this out to the leadership of my group, he told me the best thing to do was to take me off the planning committee, so I could maintain my integrity. I will leave the people who read this to make up their own minds what precisely was meant by that.

One of the most important things to me is the residents of Thurrock Stanford East and Corringham town Ward for electing me as their representative. I look forward to helping the residents for the rest of my term; I will do my best for them.

"Three years ago I had an accident that left me disabled such that I have had to overcome many challenges during this time in my life. However nothing has been as tough as the challenges I have endured being a member of the UKIP party at Thurrock.

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