Councillor dubbed ‘Disappearing Donald’ after moving 400 miles from his constituency in Cambridge

A councillor dubbed ‘Disappearing Donald’ after moving 400 miles to Scotland from his constituency in Cambridge has been pictured for the first time at his new home.

Donald Adey moved to Cupar in Fife but still claimed he could serve the residents of Trumpington and interact with them via Skype.

Mr Adey has been blasted by his colleagues for the move and they have now joined forces to make him “stand down”.

His move to Scotland caused an uproar with his colleagues after they claimed he rarely attends meetings in the city.

Mr Adey has now been pictured outside his stunning new home which had a yellow Citroen Cactus parked in the driveway.

He said due to his personal and colleague frustrations he will “resign” from the city council.

But although Mr Adey said he would resign from the city council, he did not comment on standing down from the county council.

Mr Adey said: “I do my best to represent Trumpington despite the fact I live here [Fife].

“The work varies all the time and I’ll be resigning from the city council in the middle of next month because if I resign sooner it will cause a by-election before the normal elections at the beginning of May.

“But yes I am planning to resign. I’ll just send a letter.

“I wouldn’t like to resign but my colleague’s feel the burden is becoming too much and it’s also becoming a little bit too much for me.

“Having lived in Cambridgeshire for nearly 35 years, I’m well aware of the issues down there but I can’t go and visit people easily.”

His colleagues mentioned they had tried to get in touch with him regarding some of the issues but Mr Adey claims they no longer wish to talk to him.

Mr Adey added: “My colleagues don’t wish to speak to me these days.

“I have tried to reach out to them in the past.

“This week I have been dealing with emails [from his constituents]

“And I use Skype as well [once a week to his constituents].

“I continue to do the best job I can to represent people who have elected me.

“And that’s that.”

He stepped down from the Liberal Democrat group on both the city and county council but continued to represent Trumpington, which has more than 8,000 residents, as an independent.

His colleagues say he needs to do the right thing and resign from both the Cambridge city council and the county council as he now has a sense of the expectations that are required.

The drive from his new home to his constituency is over five hours and the councillor only has to turn up to meetings every six months to claim £4,500 in annual allowances from the city council.

But it doesn’t just stop there as he can also claim more than £10,000 from the county council.

Former Liberal Democrat representative, Zoe O’Connell, said: “Trumpington is the most populous ward in Cambridge, and at the best of times councillors have our work cut out dealing with the rapid growth seen in recent years.

“Against that challenging background, residents elected Councillor Adey to represent them in the city not from hundreds of miles away.

“For him to turn up to the bare minimum of meetings just to keep his allowance shows a lack of respect to both his fellow councillors and local residents, and I hope that he will soon see sense and step down as councillor to allow someone else to take his place.”

Last year, Mr Adey, resigned from his party after it emerged he was no longer in Cambridgeshire.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, who represents Trumpington on the city council, says Mr Adey should “stand down”.

She said: “We are completely understanding of circumstances changing but we are finding out that there are many problems regarding parking, congestion and pollution.

“They are issues which Cllr Adey should be dealing with and when people try and contact him he doesn’t seem to reply.

“So because he has moved away we are having to deal with his huge amount of work.

“I definitely think he should stand down, he has been away since May and he has a better view of what he can accomplish.

“We live in an IT world but there is nothing like being on the ground.”

Cllr Thornburrow added: “He really should stand down now so that in the local elections in May we can find a new representative.

“He’s got a high track record of working as a counsellor and working with authorities but being away he cannot deliver what a lot expect.

“Council regulations state that you can be off for six months as long as you attend one meeting.

“He represents Trumpington on both Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, so his not breaking any rules or regulations but this is more of an ethical and moral issue.

“I am picking up on his issues and I do email him but I have not had a reply at all, we all feel strongly about him resigning.”

by Arthur Vundla & Joe Mellor

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