10:02AM, Monday 28 January 2019
Another councillor has resigned from the borough’s ruling Conservative group after he cited leadership issues and fears about losing green belt land.
Cllr Hari Sharma, who represents Furze Platt, announced he was resigning in front of residents invited to a meeting in the Craufurd Arms, in Gringer Hill, yesterday evening.
He said the council was being run ‘badly’ and more opposition was needed to improve transparency and decision making – which he said was too often done by the Tory group behind ‘closed doors’.
“(I want to) see more democracy, see more transparency, and more openness in decision making and more involvement of local people,” Cllr Sharma told the Advertiser yesterday.
“The will of the people is the basis of authority for local government.
“Transparency is the foundation of democracy.
“I think when you take decisions behind closed doors it’s not acceptable.”
He also wanted to see Spencer’s Farm and Maidenhead Golf Course removed as sites planned for development.
He will stand again in the next election independent as an ‘independent conservative’ and plans to meet with leader of the opposition Lynne Jones, new party for independents The Borough First, the Liberal Democrats and Labour, and hoped to form an opposition alliance.
Cllr Richard Kellaway, the chairman of the Maidenhead Conservative Association, said decisions are taken by the leader and cabinet as a result of how local government is structured and rejected Cllr Sharma’s criticism.
He pointed out that Cllr Sharma had been deselected from the Conservative list for May’s local elections and said he would be feeling ‘rather sore’.
Adding that the resignation was a disappointment, he said: “He has been there quite a long time and we have supported him.”
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