Sacked councillor who fell in love with Bangkok -and returned without telling anyone- may force by election in Manea

Mark Archer

Mark Archer - Credit: Archant

A councillor who upped sticks and moved abroad – without telling his political colleagues or constituents- has been disqualified by Fenland District Council.

Launch of the Wisbech 2020 Vision. Cllr Mark Archer.

Launch of the Wisbech 2020 Vision. Cllr Mark Archer. - Credit: Archant

His £4,500 a year allowance for representing Manea stopped on November 8 – the day of his disqualification for being absent for six months.

Mr Archer had represented Manea since 2007 and was re-elected in 2011 but earlier this year, and without warning he left the country.

His partner Paul thought he was on a business trip to Europe but instead he flew to Bangkok.

It was from where, in April, he tweeted: “Staying at one of the top hotels in Bangkok. Amazing 59 floors. Sat round the roof top pool overlooking the city. And this is work!”

Tree planting in the Manea woods near to the recreation ground. L2R Mark Archer, Robin Hicks, Pat Sm

Tree planting in the Manea woods near to the recreation ground. L2R Mark Archer, Robin Hicks, Pat Smith and Paul Martin - Credit: Archant

Mr Archer returned briefly to this country before heading back to the Far East – this time though as a tourist and not on business.

In April this year Mr Archer had an angry exchange at Manea Parish Council with the chairman Steve Emery who he claimed had brought the council into disrepute “and seriously damaged this council’s reputation” following a conduct committee investigation.

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But Mr Archer found himself out a limb with Cllr Emery accusing him of launching a “personal vendetta” and insisting “I have done nothing wrong.”

In his 2011 election address Mr Archer said that “in order to know what makes a place tick and understand its needs, you need to be part of that community, involved and engaged, as I always have been. I believe I have had a positive impact and helped to improve life in our community

He also described Fenland Council “as one the most undemocratic authorities in the country, a virtual ‘one-party state.’ Without a strong opposition there is no one to ensure that the views of all the people of this district are heard and that we all get a fair deal.”

With the eight member ‘opposition’ now down to seven, it remains uncertain, with elections due next May, if a by election will be called.

A council spokesman said: “Mark Archer was disqualified on Saturday, November 8, and a Notice of Vacancy for a councillor for the Manea Ward was published on November 10. So there will be a by-election if two electors officially call for one.”

The date of his expulsion falls just outside the ‘six-month rule’, which basically says that you don’t have to publish a Notice of Vacancy if one arises within six months of an election.

In 2011 Mr Archer polled 568 votes compared to the Conservative candidate James Carney who polled 201 votes.

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