“I can represent the people of Sheringham from Kent” says Conservative district councillor

Doug Smith. Picture: NNDC

Doug Smith. Picture: NNDC

A Conservative councillor said he believes he can continue to represent the people of Sheringham on North Norfolk District Council - despite moving 163 miles away to Tunbridge Wells.

In the latest news to rock the Conservatives at NNDC, it has emerged that Douglas Smith, ward councillor for Sheringham North, has been living in Kent since the end of August,

However, Mr Smith has confirmed that he is still working as a Conservative councillor for the area, despite having not attended a meeting since moving to Tunbridge Wells.

'I can represent the people of Sheringham from Kent,' Mr Smith said.

'Although I have not seen anyone from my previous ward I am still in correspondence with people regarding the matter.'

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When queried about why ward residents had not been made aware of his move from the area, Mr Smith said: 'I don't know, I can't answer that.'

He did however confirm that it was legal for him to be living 163 miles away from the ward he was representing on NNDC.

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He added: 'I will be commuting to the district council meeting in November for the full council meeting.'

The last meeting Mr Smith attended was on June 21.

He continued: 'I will be leaving the council in the future and there will be a by-election.'

We reported on Monday that a fourth councillor has quit the Conservatives in North Norfolk, saying it was becoming 'increasingly difficult' to support her leader.

Life-long Conservative activist Angie Fitch-Tillett said she would now represent her Poppyland ward as an independent, adding: 'For the past year I have found it increasingly difficult to support many of the leader's proposals.'

The Conservatives have not commented on her resignation, which follows last week's news of the resignation from the party by Fakenham Lancaster South's councillor John Rest.

Alongside the most recent departures from the Conservative Party at NNDC are two other councillors who left the party earlier in the year.

Corpusty councillor Georgie Perry-Warnes defected to be independent in June this year, and Suffield Park's Nigel Pearce chose to join the Liberal Democrats.

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