THE mix of politics on Monmouth’s Town Council is changing with two shock moves.
Councillor Anna Antebi, who as an Indy Monmouth candidate ousted the sitting mayor Chris Munslow in May’s elections, has handed in her notice. Her resignation paper will go before full council at their next meeting on 18th September when it is expected to be accepted.
The other move, which shifts the balance of power in the council, is the decision by the present mayor, Cllr Felicity Cotton, to stand down from the Indy Monmouth group and become an independent councillor on the town council.
Cllr Cotton, elected as an Indy candidate for the Drybridge ward in May, told the Beacon she felt the responsibility of the position of mayor is best served from a position of independence.
In a statement, she said: ”After some consideration, I have decided to step away from Indy Monmouth as an active member. I have a responsibility, as an elected councillor and mayor, to Monmouth Town Council and to this town which must take priority in the busy year ahead,” she said.
Cllr Cotton went on to say: “I would like to thank all of Indy Monmouth who supported me in the campaign, and wish them every success in the future.
“I am confident that our council supports positive change and action for the sake of Monmouth, and I am enjoying working within the town council and the community to make this happen”.
Cllr Anna Antebi is standing down for personal reasons but remains “committed to the council,” according to town clerk Caroline Tremeer.
It is expected that a by-election will be called in the Town ward to fill the vacancy, at a cost of £900 from town council funds. If no candidates come forward to stand, the council can co-opt; councillors will propose and vote on a candidate themselves to fill the vacancy.
In May’s election, three candidates stood for the one seat: Anna Antebi, Indy Monmouth; Brigid Margaret Anne Cooling, Welsh Labour and Chris Munslow, independent.
The Indy group saw seven candidates elected to the 16 seats on the council in a surprise uprising, which saw some long-serving councillors which included Chris Munslow, Sue Chivers and Wyesham’s Ray Bradley unceremoniously defeated at the ballot box.
The group, which has maintained from its creation that it is not a party, stood on a the promise of a town council working collaboratively, in an open and accountable way.
Fielding 15 candidates in the five wards, the previously inexperienced politicians joined forces just six weeks prior to elections.