Cllr Charles Chapman (Independent, Ryde South) announced his resignation in a letter to all councillors.
Speaking today, Cllr Chapman said:
“I have been a loyal and committed member of the Island Independent Group, but have become increasingly disillusioned that several prominent members of the Group appear to have abandoned the principles of openness, transparency and honesty upon which we were elected and that they have instead put personal pride and ambition ahead of the interests of the Island.
“The decision to dispense with Cllrs Richard Priest and Jonathan Gilbey, and subsequently to traduce their reputations in the Island media, were the final straw. The lack of trust, the in-fighting and the personal ambition are damaging the Island and preventing the effective running of the Council. Enough is enough, I have to do what is right and leave the Island Independent Group. I can no longer work with the Leader, Cllr Ian Stephens, and his Deputy, Cllr Steve Stubbings.”
Councillor Chapman, who serves in the senior position of Vice Chairman of the Council is the fourth member to leave the Island Independents in the last few days, joining Cllrs Bob Blezzard, Richard Priest, and Jonathan Gilbey.
Cllr Chapman has said in an email to Council Leader Ian Stephens:
“After thinking long and hard about this over the last 2 weeks, I have come to the conclusion with great regret, that I will be sending in my resignation from the independent group to the proper officer as I understand this is what is required of me”.
Speaking today, Cllr Chris Whitehouse, Secretary of the Conservative Group of Isle of Wight Councillors said:
“Cllr Chapman is widely respected, a man of great integrity and with a real spirit of community service. I’m not surprised that he couldn’t put up with the internal strife of the so-called Independent Group any longer. He has taken a brave step and will no doubt continue to serve with distinction the residents who first elected him to represent them in Ryde South. I salute his courage, honesty and integrity.”