THE annual meeting of Northwich Town Council was disrupted by the unexpected resignation of five members.
Councillors Glyn Bull, Sally Mansell, Mary Lyon, Tony Vickers and retiring Town Mayor Mel Slater dramatically made the announcement shortly after the election and investiture of the new Town Mayor, Cllr Lesley Cotterill.
The five cited 'Labour bias' in a tier of Government where 'there should be no politics'.
In his resignation speech Cllr Bull, former chairman of the finance committee, said: 'What I am not prepared to do is sit on a council where in my opinion a number of councillors have to consider the Labour Party line and whip before voting or you have to be a member of the Labour Party before being allowed to chair a committee.
'I do not believe it is in the best interest of the tax-paying public of Northwich, I also feel the public is not interested in party politics.
'What they need are intellectually strong individuals with a variety of experience
from all sides of the political spectrum able to vote with their conscience and principals for the good of North-wich, not a party whip.'
In her speech, Cllr Slater said she was ashamed of her Labour Party membership saying: '.
Cllr Vickers caused further controversy by accusing La-
bour councillors of 'bullying', something Cllr Steve Gough, newly elected chairman of the finance committee, refuted: 'Nobody's been bullied. No-one has to be a member of any party.
'It's not so much any political party, they've done the town council agreat disservice, bringing disrespect and making accusations.'
Cllr Mandy Griffiths added: 'They don't understand how local government works - party politics does come into it.'