A CONSERVATIVE councillor has quit the Tory group on Epping Forest District Council after falling out with council leader Di Collins.

Mrs Collins declined to comment on the content of Peter McMillan's resignation letter - a copy of which has been passed to the Guardian, but she said she was taking advice over the content of the letter, and added: "There's no way back (for him). He wants to go and that's up to him."

Mr McMillan, in his letter of resignation to Mrs Collins, stated: "I have watched your performance since the Conservative Group took control, and I believe the residents deserve better. You have run the council as if you and your few close associates are the only ones that matter with no regard to others in the group."

He claimed that after his election success Mrs Collins told him to "think before I speak".

Among his reasons for qutting is the issue of the aftermath of a planning blunder surrounding an 02 mobile phone mast put up at the corner of Honey Lane and Stonyshotts in Waltham Abbey. It was put up after the council failed to submit its objections before the deadline.

Mr McMillan's letter said: "The mast has gone from bad to worse and one year later it has not moved on at all. I blame you (Mrs Collins) for this. "We still have not discussed the matter with O2 nor do we know what implementing a continuance order would cost.

"If we had arranged a meeting with O2 a year ago we may have been able to prevent this mess. You also went along with the ridiculous notion that compensation should be paid only to those who had complained in writing, not those who had telephoned to complain nor those who were most affected because they lived closest. You see this is why I believe the residents deserve better."

His letter added: "I am very sad that I feel it necessary to resign, because I am and always will be a Conservative, but I believe your brand of Conservatism and your disregard for the views of other group members is all to common in the south of England and is probably the reason Labour have been in power so long."

Mr McMillan, 57, who has served one term representing Waltham Abbey's Honey Lane ward having previously worked as leisure and technical services officer with Waltham Abbey Town Council, told the Guardian: "I just feel that the council is being run by two or three people. No-one else's opinion seems to matter. You speak out of line and you're put down."

Mr McMillan is now considering his political future, saying he will "probably" stand as an Independent when his seat comes up for re-election in May.

Commenting on Mrs Collins's leadership, Mr McMillan said: "I've never really had an argument with her, it's just the way she does things and it's the way she tries to rule the roost."