Conservative laughs off resignation call after failing to oppose incinerator
PUBLISHED: 12:20 29 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:20 29 July 2013
A CONSERVATIVE councillor laughed off calls for his resignation last week after voting against stopping the New Barnfield incinerator - despite promising voters he would oppose it.
"No of course it’s not [a resigning issue].
There are far greater issues we have to deal with in the division."
Before May’s election, Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop said fighting the waste burner was his top priority.
But after a motion was put forward calling for project to be scrapped, cllr Mills-Bishop voted along party lines, and rejected the call.
The politician – who is facing calls to step down – brushed off any notion that he may resign over the issue.
“No of course it’s not [a resigning issue],” he laughed.
“There are far greater issues we have to deal with in the division.”
Despite the comment, he could not identify what these issues were during the course of the interview.
The motion was put forward by Labour councillor Maureen Cook and Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Zukowskyj, and it was turned down by 34 votes to 27.
Speaking to the Welwyn Hatfield Times Mr MIlls-Bishop, conservative councillor for Hatfield Rural, said that if the vote had been opposing Veolia, rather than Herts County Council, he would have voted differently.
“If it had been a motion against Veolia It would have been a different game,” he said.
“But it was a party motion and we have moved past that already - it is now a matter for the public inquiry.
“And I will be speaking at the public inquiry against it, and I am certain that it will be turned down.”
The motion took place during a full council meeting at County Hall in Hertford last Tuesday.
Mr Mills-Bishop also expressed disappointment that the opposition councillors had not spoken with him about the motion before the vote.
When asked if he still stood by his election promises that fighting the incinerator was his top priority, he said: “I have not changed that view and fighting the incinerator remains my top priority.
“Perhaps it would have been better for me to abstain [during the vote], I don’t know.”
Opponents have called for him to resign, and Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps said he was ‘very surprised’ at Mr Mills-Bishop’s decision.
For full reaction to the vote, see this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times, on sale now.