A COUNCILLOR has spectacularly quit the Southend administration, claiming fellow members took top jobs just to “boost their egos”.

In a blunt resignation letter seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Paul Van Looy outlined his reasons for leaving the Independent Group.

It means he is no longer part of the ruling administration and is not aligned with any of the political parties.

In the fiery letter, he wrote: “At the last election we should have stayed as independent and kept an eye on the Conservative Party.

“We as the Independent Group could have blocked anything the Tories tried to put through council and which we didn’t agree with.

“I know the residents of Southend didn’t want a Tory run council and the residents of Southend didn’t want a Labour-run council.

“In my opinion some of the coalition just wanted cabinet post to boost their ego.

“With a Labour leader and the coalition, in my opinion they haven’t got the balls to get rid of the dead wood council officers at the civic centre, which needs to be done ASAP.”

Council leader Ian Gilbert hit back at the comments from Mr Van Looy saying it is inappropriate to attack council officers who are not able to defend themselves.

He said: “I can’t comment on Paul’s opinion of officers because politicians should not publicly attack officers who can’t answer back. It’s worth pointing out that senior appointments are done by a cross-party panel, including representatives of Paul’s group and that will continue.”

He went on to say he remains confident in the council’s coalition administration, with strong relationships continuing in the cabinet.

Councillor Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council and leader of the Independent Group, said: “In the past, we formed a joint administration with Labour and the Lib Dems. It worked well then and it will work well this time around.

He added: “Officers will work to the policies of the administration and that is their role, no matter who is in charge in terms of political views.

“We haven’t got a Labour-led view or Lib Dem or Independent. What we’ve got is the three coming together with a variety of ideas and views that will work well for the town.”

A council spokesperson, said: “The chief executive has received formal notice from Councillor Paul Van Looy confirming that he no longer wishes to be treated as a member of the Independent Group.”

“He will now sit as an unaligned independent.”