AN INDEPENDENT councillor will face a vote of no confidence on Monday night.

Cllr Jack Speight, who represents the Chequerbent ward on Westhoughton Town Council, has been accused of bringing the council into disrepute and making ‘false statements’.

Last week, he claimed that the council had been ‘meeting in secret, plotting to undermine me and publicly embarrass me with this list of exaggerated allegations’.

He had been asked to apologise for claims that he instigated the raising of the union flag over Westhoughton Town Hall on Lancashire Day in 2014 and that he was the only councillor to vote against two planning applications at Roscoe Farm, when in fact all town councillors objected to them.

As well as the vote of no confidence, councillors are also expected to remove Cllr Speight from the Planning and Finance and General Purposes Committee, make him ineligible to be appointed to any other committees or represent the council on outside bodies, and re-iterate that he cannot serve as town mayor.

In a statement at a town council meeting earlier this month, Cllr Speight said that the criticism of his actions was ‘petty and vindictive’.

He added: “I take my duties seriously and I will always try to do my best for Westhoughton. I am not infallible but I will learn from my mistakes.

“I will agree, disagree, voice concerns and opinions as should any councillor on matters related to the town council.

“However, I will not be bullied and I resent being made to feel uncomfortable in this chamber.

“As an independent councillor I am aware that I am something of a cuckoo in a nest. It is a pity that this seems to upset and rile some of you.

“I do feel politics would be much better with more independents and a less partisan, political point-scoring and sometimes venomous atmosphere.”

Cllr Speight left the council chamber after that speech, Cllr David Chadwick said that his claims were ‘as far from the truth as physically possible’.

He added: “We might say things to each other that sometimes are a bit low of the mark but at the end of the day he has got to take ownership of his own actions.”

Cllr David Wilkinson said: “I think by allowing him to make his statement it has confirmed that Cllr Speight does not understand what he said three years ago was wrong.

“We spent all this time and effort trying to get him to accept that what he said was wrong. This is not some vindictive plot to get him.

“As far as I’m concerned he has made clear that he does not want to apologise.”

A vote of no confidence in Cllr Speight, who was first elected in 2012, would not result in him being removed from the council.