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Wanstead councillor resigns after his position is "no longer tenable"
A Wanstead councillor has been forced to resign from his cabinet position after implying he had been accused of not dedicating enough time to his portfolio.
Alex Wilson, cabinet member for planning and public protection, said he was asked to step down by council leader Keith Prince and Cllr Michelle Dunn during a meeting on Thursday.
This prompted him to submit a resignation letter, in which he said his position was no longer tenable and claimed anyone with a full-time job based “further than five minutes from the Town Hall” would be excluded from the cabinet.
In the letter, he continued: “I know it hasn’t always been easy to balance my responsibilities with that of an almost full time day job, but I thought I was getting it right – by reducing my working hours to a four day week.
“I have always made it clear to myself, to my work colleagues and my council colleagues that whilst I take both pleasure and pride in my council and political activities, this has been on top of – not instead of – a real job.
“The logical conclusion of our discussion this morning seems to be the exclusion from cabinet of anyone with anything like a responsible professional job based further than five minutes from the Town Hall.
“I wonder if that is a healthy position for either the council or the borough.
“Since being elected in 2009 and subsequently being appointed to cabinet last year, I have only ever wanted to do the best job I can for the borough and for our party.
“If I did not meet your expectations, I regret it.”
Wanstead ward Cllr Thomas Chan, cabinet member for regeneration, business and community has also been asked to step down from his position, but this is believed to relate to a new job.
The Guardian is awaiting comment from Cllr Prince.
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