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Thetford Mayor quits district Labour group after disagreement with leader

PUBLISHED: 09:53 19 November 2014 | UPDATED: 09:53 19 November 2014

Sylvia Armes

Sylvia Armes

Archant

A councillor has left Breckland Council's Labour group after a disagreement with its leader.

Sylvia Armes, councillor for Thetford Saxon ward, cited differences with group leader Terry Jermy for her resignation.

She says she will continue as an independent councillor and will not call an election for her seat. Things came to a head after Mrs Armes, who is currently serving as Thetford’s mayor, was reprimanded for not attending a meeting on Thursday, November 6. She said she attended a number of meetings as part of a 14-hour day.

Mrs Armes said: “We had a difference of opinion and it all came to a head.

“Over the last two years there have been many things that I was not happy with. There are things that have been said that I am not prepared to stand for.” She added she felt it would be unwise to call for an election in herseat, at the taxpayers’ expense, with such a short time to go until the council elections next year.

Mr Jermy said he believed Mrs Armes’ dissatisfaction stemmed from not being selected to stand in the same ward next year. He said: “I am naturally disappointed, Sylvia has been a long-standing member of the Labour Party and has been a councillor for a number of years.

“Sylvia has been unhappy for a while and I think the ultimate reason is that she was not reselected for the ward she wanted.

“I have every confidence that the selection process was followed properly and unfortunately Sylvia wasn’t selected for the ward she wanted.” Mrs Armes said she had accepted standing for a different ward despite feeling forced out but her resignation was to do with how she had been treated.

Her resignation means the Labour group is no longer the majority opposition group at Breckland.

The group now has three members, the same number as independents on the council.A spokesman for Breckland Council confirmed the change means Mr Jermy will see a reduction in his allowance as leader of the opposition group.

What do you think? Email andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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