A UKIP bid to urge Adur District Council to agree it would be ‘better off outside the EU’ fell flat on Thursday.
Widewater councillor Geoff Patmore bemoaned a string of ‘onerous’ EU directives, arguing millions farmed out to the Union every week would be better spent.
But Conservatives defeated the motion, passing an amendment to simply encourage residents to vote on June 23 – whether ‘in’ or ‘out’.
Mr Patmore said: “I am sure, councillors, that you are proud to be British women and men.
“I want my wonderful country back and so should you. We are better off outside of the European Union.”
Mr Patmore claimed a vote to leave would give Britain more money to spend locally.
He believed the council could rebuild the A27, carry out a compulsory purchase of Lancing’s flood plain to stop development and give officers a ten per cent pay rise, among other initiatives.
But despite his claims, the motion went down with the Tories like a tonne of bricks.
Cabinet member for regeneration Pat Beresford unsuccessfully attempted to get the motion thrown out. He said he believed in the principle of a secret vote.
Others argued the council should not state a view, as everyone was entitled to one vote and it was for the electorate to decide.
Deputy leader Angus Dunn accused Mr Patmore of ‘sound bite politics’ which were ‘all mouth and no trousers’.
Labour’s Barry Mear said: “I cannot, as a councillor, support this because I am representing people of all views. It is one person, one vote.”
There was some common ground between parties, however – Mr Patmore stated he ‘admired’ East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton and Boris Johnson, alongside Nigel Farage, because of their stance on the EU. Mr Patmore said his motion was not intended to inform the electorate but reveal how individual councillors would vote.