Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

Stowmarket: Veteran UKIP councillor Frank Whittle to trigger elections as he calls it a day after more than 10 years

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 March 2014

Frank Whittle is stepping down

Frank Whittle is stepping down

An 80-year-old councillor is standing down as he wants to “get his life back” after serving in Suffolk for more than a decade.

Frank Whittle, a councillor for Stowmarket town and Mid Suffolk district councils for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), is to retire from the two authorities.

He has formally announced his departure from the town council and is due to inform Mid Suffolk this week about his plans.

“I have done 11 years and I’m 80 now; I thought, I wanted my life back,” Mr Whittle said.

“I just feel that I have had enough. I will finish with Mid Suffolk at the end of March, I’ll put my notice in to be handed to Charlie Adan (Mid Suffolk and Babergh councils’ chief executive).

“I was there in 2007/08 as mayor of the town council – that was a busy year – I went to Buckingham Palace twice with the wife and I was the chairman of Mid Suffolk’s licensing committee when the changes came in to the licensing.”

He said he played an active part on the town council during a period when it focused on cutting the number of people drinking in the streets.

But the veteran councillor was criticised in a Mid Suffolk council meeting last year for standing down from a planning committee.

There had been concern his departure from the committee had “penalised” other members. His membership of full council meetings for 2013/14 currently stands at 50%. In January he said that he had been considering his position due to ill health.

A spokeswoman for Mid Suffolk said: “We can confirm that Frank has resigned from the town council.

“If an election is requested by 10 electors from Stowmarket’s North Ward by March 19, then polling would take place on May 22, combined with the European Election. At the moment, there is no resignation from the district council.”

Mr Whittle said he expected to formally leave Mid Suffolk on March 28.

David Blackburn, town clerk for Stowmarket Town Council, said it was the authority’s understanding that Mr Whittle had resigned due to family commitments.

Mr Whittle, who had been a member of the Conservatives since he was a teenager, defected to UKIP in January 2013 over the party’s support for gay marriage.

But he said he had “no worries” that he is set to leave the councils as their only UKIP member.

Mr Whittle was a pub landlord for most of his working career, in Liverpool and Bristol. His last business was The Bull Hotel in Long Melford.

0 comments

Nearly 200 drivers were caught using their mobile phones in Suffolk in the wake of a major crackdown.

After last week’s horrendous events in Manchester, the election campaign is now back at the top of the news agenda – but it would be naive to believe that the bombing is not going to affect anything.

Firefighters from Ipswich had to use the service’s turntable ladder to rescue a man who was discovered in a life-threatening condition by paramedics on Sunday night

Ipswich Pulse Festival, which brings innovative art productions to the town, is to be sponsored by Felixstowe-based Harrison C White Group for the next two years.

Students from Ipswich’s sixth form college are bringing a touch of the West End to break their summer term exam season.

Hundreds of displays of flowers will be adding colour to the Suffolk Show this week – but few will have started life quite like the offering from Katie’s Gardens plant centre.

A former Hollesley Bay prisoner has been given a conditional discharge and must pay £20 to the victims’ fund after being found in possession of a mobile phone in his cell.

The glorious sunshine over most of the Bank Holiday weekend brought out the crowds to Brightlingsea Regatta for one of the traditional highlights of the Essex summer season.

Youngsters from Cedarwood Primary School in Kesgrave are preparing for their big Bank Holiday Monday match at Wembley.

There were explosions of colour in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park as around 400 people donned their running shoes and volunteered to have powder paint thrown at them – all in a good cause.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24