Ex-chairman resigns over criticism of work

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A MOULTON parish councillor has quit after nine years in the aftermath of an accounting error made by the clerk.

Former chairman Andrew Malkin’s resignation letter was read out at the January meeting of Moulton Parish Council.

He cited one of his reasons for leaving as criticism from other councillors over work he has done to try and rectify things caused when Geoff Barham failed to submit the accounts for auditing for nine consecutive years.

In his letter, Mr Malkin said: “I had determined in my own mind that I would see to a conclusion what had started during my term as chairman in 2009/10 when the council’s accounting difficulties first came to the attention of elected members.

“This traumatic chapter in the council’s existence is now almost at an end. But comments made by some members at the meeting early in December finally made my mind up for me.

“This criticism was all the more hurtful, coming at the very end of a long period of thoughtful, hugely time consuming and careful work by a few well meaning volunteers to extricate the council from a difficult situation with the least possible damage to all our reputations.

“I’m all for constructive and timely criticism but this was petty, ill-informed exaggeration and accusation without evidence delivered crudely, aggressively and lacking in civility.”

Speaking after the meeting, chairman Coun Geoff Cooper said he was very sorry to see Mr Malkin resign.

He said: “Comments were made at the December meeting saying some people had done things that others didn’t know about, but no decisions were ever made without going to the full council.

“Andrew took these comments to heart and I think he had a point in his letter.

“I said at the meeting that I agree with 90 per cent of it.”

Moulton resident Vera Angelo was at the meeting.

Speaking afterwards, she said: “Mr Malkin was a good councillor and it’s a shame he has gone.

“His letter answered a lot of the questions we asked in the public forum. While Geoff Barham remains clerk no-one will have any respect for the council.

“They are still refusing to say how much money has been spent rectifying this problem he caused with the accounts.”