A COUNCILLOR accused of not fulfilling his responsibilities has been forced out of Darlington’s Conservative group.

This week, Cllr Richard Grundy was sent a recorded letter confirming his dismissal from the political group following a unanimous decision from his fellow members.

The politician – first elected to Darlington Borough Council in 2011 and re-elected in 2015 – has not attended a council meeting since May and has also stopped attending meetings of the Conservative group.

The Northern Echo understands Cllr Grundy, who represents the Faverdale ward, has also been the subject of complaints from residents who claim he has not fulfilled his responsibilities as a councillor.

Darlington’s Conservative leader, Cllr Heather Scott, said the decision to expel the councillor was not taken lightly.

She said: “We will always offer flexibility when it comes to problems with family, work or illness and will try to support our members wherever possible, as we have done with Cllr Grundy.

“However, we have very strict protocols about attendance and how we deal with people in our wards and Cllr Grundy has not been performing to the standards we would expect from our members so we felt we had no choice.

“We have been through the process of trying to encourage him and have tried to warn him about the situation but have had no response so unfortunately had to make the decision to expel Cllr Grundy.

“It was a unanimous decision from members due to him not carrying out his role as a councillor elected to represent the views of the public to the standards we expect.”

Cllr Scott added: “He was elected by the public and has a responsibility to represent them and sadly that has not been happening.”

Cllr Grundy, who receives an annual allowance of £8,026.92, can choose to remain on the council in an independent capacity or can seek to represent another political party.

Cllr Grundy, who sits on the Place Scrutiny Committee, told The Northern Echo last night that he did not wish to comment on the situation due to "personal reasons".