Shock resignation of parish chairman

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SUTTON Bridge Parish Council chairman Christopher Brandon-King resigned on Tuesday “for personal and private” reasons, but left with a stinging rebuke for absentee councillors – saying they too should resign.

He didn’t name anyone but references to missed meetings pointed to Tom Rowe and his wife, Jenny, who are bottom of an attendance league and were absent that night.

The council’s latest newsletter lists attendances for full council meetings from May-November last year. Mr Rowe attended two, Mrs Rowe four and the chairman himself five out of a possible seven.

The council was dogged for years by divisions and rows, but Coun Brandon-King told Tuesday’s meeting: “I feel that I can put my hand on my heart and say that the council is now working as well as it can and with Suzanne’s (clerk Suzanne England) now fully competent guidance, this council will soon become the envy of its peers.”

He continued: “However, I have wondered where were the howls of anguish and letters to the standards board from the self proclaimed ‘guardians of good governance’ and the ‘keepers of the code of conduct’ when two councillors have clearly treated the council, and the people who elected them, with such contempt?

“One councillor doesn’t turn up, thus disenfranchising the people who voted for him, and has now disqualified himself. The other turns up occasionally but in nine out of ten proposals doesn’t bother to vote.

“They are an asbolute disgrace and should do the right thing and resign. If they do not, I trust that in future this council will never elect them to any office and that at the next full election, if they have the brass neck to stand again, that the electorate ensures that they are never re-elected.”

Yesterday, Mrs Rowe told the Spalding Guardian: “I have got no feelings on it other than perhaps the parish council will get on better now he’s left.”

Vice-chairman Coun John Grimwood asked the chairman to reconsider and was one of several members who praised him for rebuilding the council.