A RETIRED priest claims he has been driven to resign from a parish council because of “hassle” from villagers.
Paul Winn has submitted his resignation to Moulton Parish Council after less than a year because of what he describes as “animosity” between councillors and some members of the public.
He says the tensions arose after an auditing error which led to around £61,500 going unclaimed in VAT.
Mr Winn says the error led to problems of trust between villagers and the council, despite an external audit clearing the council of any wrongdoing.
He is now urging people to move on.
He said: “When I joined the council last May I thought I could make a difference but I think I joined at the wrong time.
“There is a small group of people who come to the council’s open forum and question everything we do.
“At one particularly awful meeting I would describe their behaviour as appalling.
“I can’t see why we can’t just draw a line under what’s gone on and move forward.
“At the last meeting there was a lot of animosity again and at the public meeting into development on Moulton Park I was attacked for not representing the views of villagers, and I can’t cope with it.
“I am sorry to have left in many ways because I was pushing for a play area and am involved in the Jubilee committee, but the negative has outweighed the positive.”
Mr Winn has now laid down the gauntlet, challenging one of the group of villagers involved to stand for election to fill his vacant seat.
He said: “I think it has become a game to them but if they really are serious why don’t they stand?
“This is their chance, but I don’t think they will.
“They would rather just stir things up.
“I’ve had enough, my time on the council may have been short-lived but I really didn’t expect to get that hassle.”
l Electors from Moulton parish have until March 30 to request an election to fill the parish council vacancy. If less than ten apply in writing to the returning officer at South Holland District Council, the vacancy can be filled by the parish council by co-option.