A COUNCILLOR has resigned after a decision was made for him to be suspended from his duties for 12 months.

Professor Lew Schnurr was recommended to be suspended from his committee and representation duties at Heybridge Parish Council for six months following a standards committee hearing which heard he had acted aggressively and raised his fist at a fellow councillor.

However, following a meeting of the parish council on April 19, it was agreed this length of time be pushed up to 12 months, despite Professor Schnurr making formal apologies to all involved in the incident, which happened in January.

Once this decision was agreed, Professor Schnurr resigned from the council with immediate effect.

In a statement, he said: “This negative decision by members is simply one of the latest in a line of confusion proffered by the council who only a month ago seemed unable to determine whether they were to be a parish or town council.

“As a long-standing member and as vice-chairman for more than a decade, I regret the need to resign alongside that of the current vice-chairman and our loss of a council no longer capable of fully and positively supporting our community as it develops and expands; I wish them well with their work.”

Simon Burwood, Heybridge Parish Council Chairman, said: “Such were the feelings with regards the actions taken by Professor Schnurr that colleagues on the council decided to increase the sanctions levels suggested by the standards committee from six months to 12 months.

“We specifically made reference to the basin residents, during our deliberations, and how they would be represented and there was never any issue with Prof Schnurr continuing to represent them, as could any member from HPC.

“I am sad that Professor Schnurr couldn’t accept this council’s decisions but I thank him, on behalf of the council and Heybridge residents, for his hard work over the last 14 years.

“These have been a very difficult last few months, but we now need to put this behind us and get on with the job of representing the residents of Heybridge and the basin.”