"Maverick Southend councillor should quit"

Southend Standard: Marimuthu Velmurugan at this year's elections Marimuthu Velmurugan at this year's elections

A MAVERICK councillor has been told to quit the job if he does not want to sit on any public committees.

Martin Terry, spokesman for Southend Council’s Independent group, called for Marimuthu Velmurugan to stand down from the authority.

The outspoken GP announced he was leaving the Independent group on Sunday, following an email exchange with Mr Terry, in which he said he did not want to sit on any committees to which he was “not entitled”.

Leaving the Independents could disbar Dr Velmurugan from almost all of the council’s committees because their membership is decided proportionally, based on each group or party’s size in the council chamber.

Mr Terry said: “If he is really saying he does not want to sit on committees then he should stand down, as he is not performing the role he was elected to do.

“He was elected to be a councillor and to scrutinise and shape policy.

“He cannot do that if he’s not on a committee.”

Dr Velmurugan retained his seat in Westborough ward by just 38 votes in May’s elections.

Since then, he has repeatedly distanced himself from his Independent colleagues and often aligned with the Conservative group in his voting and political literature.

The Echo understands he “resigned” from the Independent group in an email sent in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The move means the group now has ten seats on the council, down from 11, if Dr Velmurugun chooses to sit alone.

That would also mean he could lose his place on several committees, as places are assigned to each political group based on the number of seats they hold.

The “resignation” followed an earlier email exchange with Mr Terry, which was sent to other councillors, in which he criticised the group spokesman for offering him “money-spinning council job assignments”.

Mr Terry pointed out he had simply been assigning committee roles which had been agreed by Nigel Holdcroft, the Tory council leader.

He said: “I think Dr Velmurugan has misunderstood my email.

“There is no money involved in these roles, they are simply part of councillors’ duties.”

Dr Velmurugan was not available for comment.

Comments (25)

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8:30pm Wed 19 Dec 12

Piersight says...

So he’s independent, not a member of the Independent Group. To be a member of a political group is to lose one’s independence, so Dr Velmurugan should be congratulated on sticking to his principles and remaining independent, if that was what he was elected for. The system of allocating committee membership is wrong, and denies adequate representation on behalf of the electorate,if it requires councillors to be members of a political party before being appointed to a committee.
So he’s independent, not a member of the Independent Group. To be a member of a political group is to lose one’s independence, so Dr Velmurugan should be congratulated on sticking to his principles and remaining independent, if that was what he was elected for. The system of allocating committee membership is wrong, and denies adequate representation on behalf of the electorate,if it requires councillors to be members of a political party before being appointed to a committee. Piersight
  • Score: 0

9:02pm Wed 19 Dec 12

sosad 1 says...

what i fear here is people are scared to say anything against him for the fear of being branded a racist he is a man of good intendtions but much of a people pleasare but he is still a nice bloke
what i fear here is people are scared to say anything against him for the fear of being branded a racist he is a man of good intendtions but much of a people pleasare but he is still a nice bloke sosad 1
  • Score: 0

9:27pm Wed 19 Dec 12

jayman says...

why maverick? many councils across the country have
'independent, independent' councillors. its what the word 'independent' means.

why do Southend council have such rules in place that deny representation of Southend constituents at committees?

anyway. they are all self interested. they may as well have a okey at the council to which councillors get together at and throw darts at the decision & ideas board.
why maverick? many councils across the country have 'independent, independent' councillors. its what the word 'independent' means. why do Southend council have such rules in place that deny representation of Southend constituents at committees? anyway. they are all self interested. they may as well have a okey at the council to which councillors get together at and throw darts at the decision & ideas board. jayman
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Wed 19 Dec 12

marshman says...

It's the organisation of the independent group of councillors that's at fault. By organising themselves into a group they loose their independence, elect a leader, allocate committee places, vote en bloc etc. etc.. All the things in fact that a truly independent councillor want to distance themselves from. It's the group that should resign because they're tricking the electorate each time they stand for office. Quite simply because they're not independent, they're in a group.
It's the organisation of the independent group of councillors that's at fault. By organising themselves into a group they loose their independence, elect a leader, allocate committee places, vote en bloc etc. etc.. All the things in fact that a truly independent councillor want to distance themselves from. It's the group that should resign because they're tricking the electorate each time they stand for office. Quite simply because they're not independent, they're in a group. marshman
  • Score: 0

8:35am Thu 20 Dec 12

Brunning999 says...

Well done doctor be your own man, far to many people act
Ike sheep.
Well done doctor be your own man, far to many people act Ike sheep. Brunning999
  • Score: 0

9:39am Thu 20 Dec 12

rhowes says...

I'm comfortable if the whole group resign. Marshman is right on this issue.
I'm comfortable if the whole group resign. Marshman is right on this issue. rhowes
  • Score: 0

9:40am Thu 20 Dec 12

rhowes says...

I'm comfortable if the whole group resign. Marshman is right on this issue.
I'm comfortable if the whole group resign. Marshman is right on this issue. rhowes
  • Score: 0

10:18am Thu 20 Dec 12

asbo industries inc says...

5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation.
5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation. asbo industries inc
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Shoebury_Cyclist says...

asbo industries inc wrote:
5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation.
Why? He hasn't resigned as a councillor, he's resigned from a group within the council. He's still an elected independent councillor.
[quote][p][bold]asbo industries inc[/bold] wrote: 5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation.[/p][/quote]Why? He hasn't resigned as a councillor, he's resigned from a group within the council. He's still an elected independent councillor. Shoebury_Cyclist
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Max Impact says...

Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
asbo industries inc wrote:
5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation.
Why? He hasn't resigned as a councillor, he's resigned from a group within the council. He's still an elected independent councillor.
Prehaps he has not spoken to the echo because he is a GP and wants to look after his patients first.

Good for him being a true independent.
[quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asbo industries inc[/bold] wrote: 5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation.[/p][/quote]Why? He hasn't resigned as a councillor, he's resigned from a group within the council. He's still an elected independent councillor.[/p][/quote]Prehaps he has not spoken to the echo because he is a GP and wants to look after his patients first. Good for him being a true independent. Max Impact
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Alan\Grubb says...

Until a few months ago CLL Martin Terry was known has leader of the Independants group, So how comes he Is calling himself spokeperson for Independance group. Is a group not similar to a party, If your Independant are you not In a party or group but on your own.
Until a few months ago CLL Martin Terry was known has leader of the Independants group, So how comes he Is calling himself spokeperson for Independance group. Is a group not similar to a party, If your Independant are you not In a party or group but on your own. Alan\Grubb
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Thu 20 Dec 12

asbo industries inc says...

Max Impact wrote:
Shoebury_Cyclist wrote:
asbo industries inc wrote:
5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation.
Why? He hasn't resigned as a councillor, he's resigned from a group within the council. He's still an elected independent councillor.
Prehaps he has not spoken to the echo because he is a GP and wants to look after his patients first.

Good for him being a true independent.
if he doesn't have time to look after his constituents then he should not seek re-election
[quote][p][bold]Max Impact[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoebury_Cyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asbo industries inc[/bold] wrote: 5 days later and still not available for comment. he is an elected official and owes his constituents an explanation.[/p][/quote]Why? He hasn't resigned as a councillor, he's resigned from a group within the council. He's still an elected independent councillor.[/p][/quote]Prehaps he has not spoken to the echo because he is a GP and wants to look after his patients first. Good for him being a true independent.[/p][/quote]if he doesn't have time to look after his constituents then he should not seek re-election asbo industries inc
  • Score: 0

12:37pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Alan\Grubb says...

Remember Cll Martin quotes Independants are against party politics, Is not a group the same, so his the Independants not quoting the same about the Independant group.
Remember Cll Martin quotes Independants are against party politics, Is not a group the same, so his the Independants not quoting the same about the Independant group. Alan\Grubb
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Thu 20 Dec 12

rhowes says...

The question now is, how many others will have the courage to leave this "group"? Who will be next, to be truly Indepedent?
The question now is, how many others will have the courage to leave this "group"? Who will be next, to be truly Indepedent? rhowes
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Thu 20 Dec 12

asbo industries inc says...

the independents are a waste of space. the mugs who vote for them are as clueless as the candidates...eh champagne shoebury clown?
the independents are a waste of space. the mugs who vote for them are as clueless as the candidates...eh champagne shoebury clown? asbo industries inc
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Alan\Grubb says...

Lets hope that one day we will see councillors who if they are in a party will be able to put the residents first, even if it means upsetting their party, at least for the time being with the exception of one councillor most of the independent councillors will work for the residents and for the town and re not be afraid of the party masters pity the other councillors cannot think for themselves.
Lets hope that one day we will see councillors who if they are in a party will be able to put the residents first, even if it means upsetting their party, at least for the time being with the exception of one councillor most of the independent councillors will work for the residents and for the town and re not be afraid of the party masters pity the other councillors cannot think for themselves. Alan\Grubb
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Thu 20 Dec 12

asbo industries inc says...

Alan\Grubb wrote:
Lets hope that one day we will see councillors who if they are in a party will be able to put the residents first, even if it means upsetting their party, at least for the time being with the exception of one councillor most of the independent councillors will work for the residents and for the town and re not be afraid of the party masters pity the other councillors cannot think for themselves.
get real
[quote][p][bold]Alan\Grubb[/bold] wrote: Lets hope that one day we will see councillors who if they are in a party will be able to put the residents first, even if it means upsetting their party, at least for the time being with the exception of one councillor most of the independent councillors will work for the residents and for the town and re not be afraid of the party masters pity the other councillors cannot think for themselves.[/p][/quote]get real asbo industries inc
  • Score: 0

10:46am Fri 21 Dec 12

jayman says...

If corruption is to occur at any great level it will not occur at central government. The corrupt actions and deeds will be found out in time by agents that research the processes of parliament and government.

It is a well established fact that few politicians enter elected office without the desire to enrich themselves with the power and influence that there position allows.

with this in mind. Why should party politics come into the story at all.

Individual motives should be questioned.

backgrounds should be checked.

business links should be scrutinised.

party politics is just another layer of nonsense that

1, normal people have to make sense of.
2, normal people have to put up with.

Its about time we got the kind of democracy we deserve.
If corruption is to occur at any great level it will not occur at central government. The corrupt actions and deeds will be found out in time by agents that research the processes of parliament and government. It is a well established fact that few politicians enter elected office without the desire to enrich themselves with the power and influence that there position allows. with this in mind. Why should party politics come into the story at all. Individual motives should be questioned. backgrounds should be checked. business links should be scrutinised. party politics is just another layer of nonsense that 1, normal people have to make sense of. 2, normal people have to put up with. Its about time we got the kind of democracy we deserve. jayman
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Fri 21 Dec 12

rhowes says...

Someone has to make the hard decisions in local Government. All parties find it a challenge to find able candidates. Most meetings conflict with working hours, and Members only get 84 hours a year off from their work to attend them. I believe most Councillors wish to serve their communities in public office for the right reasons, but finding younger, brighter people is difficult. How would forgetting the Party's help? They can offer many resources to candidates which Independents cannot rely on.
Someone has to make the hard decisions in local Government. All parties find it a challenge to find able candidates. Most meetings conflict with working hours, and Members only get 84 hours a year off from their work to attend them. I believe most Councillors wish to serve their communities in public office for the right reasons, but finding younger, brighter people is difficult. How would forgetting the Party's help? They can offer many resources to candidates which Independents cannot rely on. rhowes
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Wed 2 Jan 13

reverberate says...

typical of an Independent councillor, who bends with the wind and stands for nothing in particular. We now have a group that all try to vote the same way, except for a truly independent councillor who makes his own mind up. Residents aren't told what they stand for at election time, so how can we decide if they've followed the views of the residents they represent. How can Independent councillors truly represent their own wards if they form an Independent Party as soon as they get in? This is exactly what the main political parties do, so where is the difference? At least the main parties produce a manifesto so voters know what they are voting for. What happens when Westborough has two independent candidates with no manifesto from either? Stick to the main parties where you know what you are getting.
typical of an Independent councillor, who bends with the wind and stands for nothing in particular. We now have a group that all try to vote the same way, except for a truly independent councillor who makes his own mind up. Residents aren't told what they stand for at election time, so how can we decide if they've followed the views of the residents they represent. How can Independent councillors truly represent their own wards if they form an Independent Party as soon as they get in? This is exactly what the main political parties do, so where is the difference? At least the main parties produce a manifesto so voters know what they are voting for. What happens when Westborough has two independent candidates with no manifesto from either? Stick to the main parties where you know what you are getting. reverberate
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Wed 2 Jan 13

rhowes says...

Reverberate has it in one!

Westborough has been instinctively Liberal Democrat for several years, and with the national Party about to put distance between them and the Tories, we should see a revival locally.
Reverberate has it in one! Westborough has been instinctively Liberal Democrat for several years, and with the national Party about to put distance between them and the Tories, we should see a revival locally. rhowes
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Alan\Grubb says...

One thing i have learnt is that the promises that are made by most councillors are like grains of samd in the wind, not worth the paper they are printed on.
One thing i have learnt is that the promises that are made by most councillors are like grains of samd in the wind, not worth the paper they are printed on. Alan\Grubb
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Thu 3 Jan 13

reverberate says...

A fair comment by Alan, but that's why we have elections. Councillors don't get elected if residents agree that the promises haven't matched performance. Indie and truly indie cllrs need to set out what they are going to do before the election. Cllrs aren't all the same but we let the the lazy ones off by voting blindly. The bottom line is: we all have the power to make the changes we want, we just need to do something about it: hold elected cllrs to account - what have they done during their period in office? take a serious look at all candidates and don't believe the spin about party politics vs the Independent Party. More than one party will put the interests of local residents first.
Why not stand as a candidate if you are still unimpressed? Either as a truly independent candidate or as a member of a political party.
A fair comment by Alan, but that's why we have elections. Councillors don't get elected if residents agree that the promises haven't matched performance. Indie and truly indie cllrs need to set out what they are going to do before the election. Cllrs aren't all the same but we let the the lazy ones off by voting blindly. The bottom line is: we all have the power to make the changes we want, we just need to do something about it: hold elected cllrs to account - what have they done during their period in office? take a serious look at all candidates and don't believe the spin about party politics vs the Independent Party. More than one party will put the interests of local residents first. Why not stand as a candidate if you are still unimpressed? Either as a truly independent candidate or as a member of a political party. reverberate
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Alan\Grubb says...

We have a Councillor who was a port-follo holder he resigned as a port-follo holder but remained as a councillor, this councillor who has a full time job will now also have a job at the court house, on the bench. You have to ask yourself how can this person do a full time job, act as a Councillor within Southend and take on additional paid responsibilities in Southend Court.

Given the fact that the roll of a councillor gives the person concerned at least £8000.00 per year in allowances you have to ask your self are they realy worth the money and do we get value for the money.
We have a Councillor who was a port-follo holder he resigned as a port-follo holder but remained as a councillor, this councillor who has a full time job will now also have a job at the court house, on the bench. You have to ask yourself how can this person do a full time job, act as a Councillor within Southend and take on additional paid responsibilities in Southend Court. Given the fact that the roll of a councillor gives the person concerned at least £8000.00 per year in allowances you have to ask your self are they realy worth the money and do we get value for the money. Alan\Grubb
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Alan\Grubb says...

We have a Councillor who was a port-follo holder he resigned as a port-follo holder but remained as a councillor, this councillor who has a full time job will now also have a job at the court house, on the bench. You have to ask yourself how can this person do a full time job, act as a Councillor within Southend and take on additional paid responsibilities in Southend Court.

Given the fact that the roll of a councillor gives the person concerned at least £8000.00 per year in allowances you have to ask your self are they realy worth the money and do we get value for the money.
We have a Councillor who was a port-follo holder he resigned as a port-follo holder but remained as a councillor, this councillor who has a full time job will now also have a job at the court house, on the bench. You have to ask yourself how can this person do a full time job, act as a Councillor within Southend and take on additional paid responsibilities in Southend Court. Given the fact that the roll of a councillor gives the person concerned at least £8000.00 per year in allowances you have to ask your self are they realy worth the money and do we get value for the money. Alan\Grubb
  • Score: 0

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