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A Tory councillor has quit just over a year after being elected to Fenland District Council.

Cllr Jason Mockett was elected for the Lattersey ward of Whittlesey last May in a by election.

But today it has been revealed he has resigned the Conservative whip and will remain as an independent councillor until elections in May next year.

In his resignation email he wrote: “I have made the decision to no longer represent the Conservative Party for both town and district council.

“To prevent costs to the town in an event a by election may need to be called if I quit entirely, I will stay on as an independent councillor until the next elections.”

Cllr Mockett has expressed disquiet in recent days over how money allocated to the town for a heritage centre is spent, now the project has been abandoned.

The town received £1m under a deal agreed last year by the Cambridgeshire and Combined Authority.

Each market town was allocated similar amounts to “address the needs and those interventions required to drive targeted growth and sustained regeneration for each town, especially in a post Covid-19 economy”.

Key among the projects for Whittlesey was a heritage centre but the estimated cost – more than £1m – and the burden of likely running costs of £50,000 a year, saw the project fall by the wayside.

Instead, a town and district council delegation met with Fenland Council director Phil Hughes to draw up alternative uses for the money.

Cllr Jason Mockett (left) with Cllr Dave Connor at Whittlesea rail station

This concluded that the remaining money from the £1m be allocated for numerous community projects but this too got superseded by a second proposal.

This would involve £250,000 being spent on feasibility studies for a by-pass for the town.

Cllr Mockett won 449 votes compared to rival Jess Hibbert’s 267, in the Fenland Council by election. Turn out was 33 per cent.

The (now) former Conservative councillor is well known for his outspoken remarks on social media.

Three years ago, he famously referred to NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay as “our useless MP”.

New political make up of Fenland Council is now:

Fenland Independents Alliance (Including 2 Liberal Democrats and 1 Member of The Green Party): 13

Conservatives: 26

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