Former Eastwood council leader resigns over neighbourhood plan

Bob Charlesworth, aged 65, who has served as a Liberal Democrats councillor for almost 20-years.
Bob Charlesworth, aged 65, who has served as a Liberal Democrats councillor for almost 20-years.

A former Eastwood Town Council leader has resigned from the council which he said "needs new blood" after "major changes" were made to a neighbourhood plan.

Bob Charlesworth, aged 65, who has served as a Liberal Democrats councillor for almost 20-years, decided to leave the council after he said the leading group do not have “enough vision.”

He said: “It has been a honour to help the people of Eastwood. I have done this for almost 20-years - so it is time to move on. And it is time for other people to do as much work as I have done.”

Mr Charlesworth said he now has plenty of things to do to keep him busy in his retirement including acting as the treasurer for the area’s Royal British Legion.

He also said he was intending to resign from the council later this year and has been taking a back seat at the council since he resigned from his position as leader of the council.

He also said one of his main concerns and reasons for leaving was the reported removal of a western by-pass from the Eastwood Neighbourhood Plan.

Mr Charlesworth was informed of the alleged changes after a full council meeting on September, 10, which he did not attend.

He said: “ The council has every right to change its mind, so I have the right to stop my work being used for polices which I cannot support.”

Mr Charlesworth has said that he “removes permission” for the council to use his work on the neighbourhood plan, which he says he owns the copyright for.

His work includes photographs, maps and some of the written plan.

He said: “They need to do the work now.”

He said he also has concerns about possible development on green belt land at Nether Green.

David Bagshaw, Labour party member and current council leader said he wishes Mr Charlesworth all the best.

He said: “I want to thank him for all effort he has put in over years and the time he has given.

“However, we have always had vision for the town. We have always considered what is best for Eastwood.”

He also said the green belt land Mr Charlesworth commented on is the responsibility of Brinsley Parish Council and that the by-pass would have cost £2 to £3 million and could “lead people away from town.”

He also said that the council intends to use some of Mr Charlesworth’s work on the plan.

He said: “It was not a private contract it was work done on behalf of the council.”