Deputy mayor: I mucked up big time

FELIXSTOWE'S deputy mayor today claimed she became confused and “mucked up big time” in failing to support campaigners fighting new homes on countryside at the resort.

FELIXSTOWE'S deputy mayor today claimed she became confused and “mucked up big time” in failing to support campaigners fighting new homes on countryside at the resort.

Angel Goodwin and her husband John, both councillors, have been accused of “sitting on their hands” and being too frightened to vote against their Conservative colleagues.

The pair said they had made a mistake when previously voting in favour of around 2,000 homes on fields and claimed to have made a U-turn.

But when it came to a crucial vote, they abstained - even though their votes would have carried the objectors' view.

Instead, the town council opted for 70 homes a year, and left the door open for large-scale countryside sites to be chosen.

The vote caused uproar and the Goodwins have been deluged with angry emails.

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Mr Goodwin, who said he was forced to “toe the party line” on a previous vote, said the town vote was not the end of the matter and Suffolk Coastal would make the final decision.

He believed voting for mayor Mike Deacon's rejection of the houses “would have meant the two Trimley villages would have been at the full mercy of Suffolk Coastal” for large-scale housing.

“Whilst sitting as a member of Felixstowe Town Council I did not feel it right or proper to jeopardise the wishes of the two villages that I represent as a county councillor. For this reason I felt that I had no other choice than to abstain,” he said.

Mrs Goodwin said she had no excuses, got confused over the motions and amendments, and “mucked up big time”.

“I had intended to vote for Mike Deacon's proposal but hesitated as to which resolution we were actually voting on - I saw the hands go up and down and it had moved on to against and I knew I had missed the moment,” she said.

“I could not vote against so I was left with the only option but to abstain. This was not by intention. I can only apologise, accept everything people throw at me and carry on having sleepless nights.”

John Johnston, of campaign group Save Felixstowe Countryside, said: “I'm afraid my conclusion, and that shared by many across Felixstowe, is that the true reason Angel and John didn't vote was because they would be turning against and would defeat the Felixstowe Conservative party position.”

Were they right or wrong to abstain? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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