Another councillor has left the Conservative group at Maldon District Council.

Councillor Richard Siddall announced he was leaving the group this morning (Tuesday, October 6) following decisions made at a meeting of the full council last week.

He said: "As a result of the majority of the members of the Conservative group voting against the Joint Standards sanctions at last week's full council meeting, I have made the decision to leave the Conservative group at MDC.

"I will now sit as a non-aligned independent Conservative, working for the best of the council and the district."

At the meeting former council leader, Adrian Fluker was suspended from serving on committees for 12 months following a hearing of the joint standards committee which ruled he had breached the councillors code of conduct.

Councillors voted to suspend Mr Fluker from sitting on council committees and working parties.

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The political balance has now shifted away from the Conservative group following the resignation of a number of other councillors.

On paper the Independents now hold the balance of power. But there are also a number of politically non-aligned councillors.

Currently the Independents have 12 councillors, the Conservatives have ten and there are eight non-aligned councillors.

At the meeting, councillors also decided that Conservative Councillor Elaine Bamford would sit as the interim leader until November when the new council leadership will be decided.