Holbeach councillors who quit: ‘We had to make a stand’

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SIX parish councillors who resigned and walked out of the annual parish meeting say they did it because they are “disgusted by the way council business is being conducted.”

Esmond Tearle, Carol Johnson, Carol Rudkin, Yvonne Jones, Michael Barter and Valery Gemmell all quit Holbeach Parish Council at the meeting on March 12.

Since then three more councillors – Martin Howard, Graham Warrender and Rita Rudkin – have also resigned.

The original six say they resigned because they feel some councillors are “standing in the way of progress”.

In a joint statement, they said: “We joined the council to serve the community to the best of our ability when making important decisions which affect people’s lives, but we feel our efforts were being hampered by those who did not want to see any change.

“This was exacerbated in recent events leading up to the appointment of the new clerk, when we felt the opportunity to modernise the council and run it as a successful business was overlooked by the decisions made by certain councillors.

“We therefore feel we no longer want to be involved with a body where democracy is being overlooked by a few autocratic individuals who appear to be there for self glorification.”

These former councillors claim there have been complaints from the public who have written to the clerk and have had no acknowledgement that their letter was being dealt with.

The statement continues: “At the last few meetings it has been apparent that the corporate body of the council has become severely eroded, with personality clashes now appearing to cloud some councillors’ decisions.

“It was also obvious by these councillors’ actions that they were not working together in the best interests of the parish or delivering services which showed value for money.

“We can no longer condone the actions of these councillors and no longer wish to be associated with them.”

Responding to the statement, clerk Jill Harrington said she replies to all letters as soon as the council has made a decision on the matter raised.

l A new chairman and vice-chairman were due to be elected last night and new clerk, Teresa Daisley, starts on Monday.