A MEMBER of Colchester Council’s cabinet has resigned in protest to “petty party politics” in the council chamber as well as the borough’s housing plans.

Wivenhoe councillor Andrea Luxford-Vaughan has left her role as customers boss, claiming politics was getting in the way of her delivering for her constituents.

She said: “I became a councillor to serve the residents of my ward. Politics was never my motivation.

“Unfortunately, too many decisions for Colchester and Wivenhoe are tainted by petty party politics to the extent it has become impossible to deliver for my ward with the integrity they deserve.”

The Lib Dem has been an outspoken critic of the new town proposals in the borough’s Local Plan, and said she could not support the plans which include a 9,000-home new town between Wivenhoe and Colchester.

Planning inspector Roger Clews ruled in May two of three the new towns planned were unviable and should be removed from the plan - something Mrs Luxford-Vaughan had warned about before.

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Mrs Luxford-Vaughan said: “It is particularly irksome the result of ignoring the warnings I gave on the Local Plan was exactly as warned – we were left with an unsound plan and two new towns rejected.

“I cannot support the risks associated with using taxpayers’ money to the tune of £8million so far in an effort to build houses we simply do not need.”

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Mrs Luxford-Vaughan will stay on as a councillor and has vowed to fight for the best interests of Wivenhoe.

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She added: “I intend to continue to serve as a councillor, fighting Wivenhoe’s corner as I always have, and keeping a co-operative relationship with my ward colleague Mark Cory [leader of the council].

“I will, of course, support any decisions taken which are in the best interests of Wivenhoe residents and those of Colchester.”

Mr Cory said: "Andrea is a friend and colleague.

"I thank her for her efforts on cabinet, and for her contributions on the subjects she cares passionately about.

"We will continue to work together to represent the community of Wivenhoe which we both care so much about.”