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Shock resignations throw by-election into confusion

by Alan Watkins

The by-election in Luton and Wayfield has been thrown into confusion.
Tony and Val Goulden, both former Mayors of Medway, resigned on August 5, after an acrimonious meeting with the group leader, Cllr Paul Godwin.
The have decided to stay as Independent councillors at least until the 2011 elections.
Mr Goulden (below) was the Labour Whip responsible for keeping group members in line.

Both are joining Cllr Ian Burt and have formed an Independent Group on the council.
Cllr Burt has been Independent since resigning from the Liberal Democrats in the early days of the council.
The couple had planned to make their resignation public after the by-election on September 3.
But since reading comments from Labour candidate and trainee teacher Samantha (Sam) Whittington, 34, posted on social networking site Facebook, they decided to make their resignations irrevocable.
On the site Ms Whittington is disparaging about councillors, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Labour Government.
The Gouldens had previously raised serious concerns about the selection of former councillor Dennis McFarlane whose resignation led to the by-election.
In a statement issued by her agent Cllr Vince Maple, Ms Whittington said she was prepared to apologise for her comments.
She said: “If anyone has been offended by any comments that have been made then I will apologise to them."

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