Leader comes to councillor’s defence

PUBLISHED: 10:55 28 January 2011

THE leader of Waveney District Council has defended a Beccles councillor after calls he be removed from his post.

Mark Bee said it would be up to electorate to throw Gary Ruickbie out of the council on May 5 and he had no power to remove him.

Mr Bee’s comments came after Beccles councillor Graham Elliott, from the Green Party, asked what action the council leader had taken against Mr Ruickbie after Beccles Town Council passed a vote of no confidence against him in August.

Mr Elliott asked his question at a full meeting of the council on Wednesday.

He said that his fellow Beccles councillor was hardly seen in the town and described him as elusive. He also queried whether Mr Ruickbie was good value for money to the taxpayer.

Mr Elliott said the council leader should use his influence to make Mr Ruickbie leave the district council.

In response Mr Bee said it down to the electorate to decide Mr Ruickbie’s fate or he could decide to leave the council himself.

Mr Bee said it would not be in democracy’s interest if he intervened in the matter.

He also told Mr Elliott: “Quite frankly you need to lay off councillor Ruickbie.”

Mr Ruickbie was not at Wednesday night’s meeting.

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