Chairman hits out over ‘lack of vision’ within party

A PARISH councillor has hit out at a ‘lack of vision’ from colleagues and opponents after stepping down from the council.

Coun Bob Watson announced last week he was stepping down as chairman of Seaton Valley Council with immediate effect after receiving anonymous phone calls and e-mails which he said were affecting his family life.

“It has been my pleasure for the past four years to lead Seaton Valley Council from its inception in the giddy days of 2009,” he said.

“Indeed I have found most of the work involved to be interesting and stimulating and have been proud of our achievements to date.

“What has been incredibly annoying, however, is the bubbling undercurrent of petty small-minded politics.

“I have found measures to improve facilities and services met with an inability by some to even make a decision amid complaints that I am not far enough left wing.

“I suppose a Labour member who believes more in his community than political rants is making himself a target.

“I have finally decided it is too difficult to fight against the very small minority who cannot see any vision for the future of Seaton Valley and those few ... who feel anonymous phone calls and e-mails is a good substitute for debate, and when that affects my family I must do something about it.”

In a letter to fellow council members he said: “I wish you all the very best in your endeavours, but at the same time I worry about the future of my own area.”

Vice-chairman of the council, Susan Dungworth, said: “Robert Watson resigned as a member of the Seaton Valley Council for personal reasons.

“As an elected member for the Holywell Ward and as chair of the council, Mr Watson has contributed to the successful establishment of Seaton Valley Council and we wish him well in the future.”