A REBEL councillor has defended his decision to break an Isle of Wight Council convention after he was slammed by a colleague.

Cllr Chris Jarman said there was no point acting like dinosaurs chained to the past when changes can be made for the good, after he debated and voted on a planning application in his ward yesterday (Tuesday).

Representing Totland and Colwell, Cllr Jarman sat with, and spoke on behalf of, residents fighting the Birch Close development at the planning committee meeting before moving across the council chamber to join fellow committee members.

The decision to do so broke the Isle of Wight Council's convention but he was legally allowed to do so.

Cllr Geoff Brodie, chair of the Isle of Wight Council, said Cllr Jarman's actions were 'disrespectful' to every other member of the council.

He said Cllr Jarman may have had an advantage the 27 other members of the council, who are not on the planning committee, would not have as they would only get the chance to make representations to the committee and not vote.

Cllr Brodie said, in all his time on the committee, no councillor had ever broken the convention.

Chair of planning, Cllr Michael Lilley said he would have preferred it if the convention was stuck to but acknowledged Cllr Jarman's wishes to take part in the meeting.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Jarman said his decision was discussed for about a month, talking to various parties, and it was a question of what was the right thing to do in terms of representing residents.

He said there were things the new administration were going to improve, but that did not mean they were throwing away all the conventions of the past, which were out of date and inefficient.

He understood some people found change difficult.