Framlingham Town Council chairwoman resigns following “misleading” Mount Pleasant views
- Credit: Su Anderson
The chairwoman of a Suffolk town council has stood down following calls for her resignation after “misrepresenting” residents and council members.
Carolyn Youngs resigned from her position at a meeting of Framlingham Town Council on Thursday night, to which more than 30 members of the public attended.
Her position had been called into question by local residents and members of the Framlingham Residents Association (FRAm) after she told Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee that Framlingham Town Council was broadly in favour of the 95-home Mount Pleasant development, contrary to views previously expressed by the council.
Her representation caused at least one member of the committee, Susan Harvey, to vote in favour of the scheme, which was approved by eight votes to five.
Addressing the town council and the public on Thursday night, Ms Youngs said: “This is a very difficult decision for me to make.
“I’m not intimidated by the residents association, but rather by the disappointing response from councillors.
“I feel very saddened that councillors have been influenced by this group’s attitude.
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“I feel I been made a scapegoat. I have given 100% commitment as a councillor over the past six years.”
Among the public audience was Angelika Grant, a member of the council’s lands sub-committee and skate park project, who said: “If Carolyn is made to resign then I shall also resign.
“I think it’s appaulling how she has been treated by the community.
“People have made her the scapegoat by venting anger that should be directed at other people.
“I’m ashamed that such a witch hunt has been carried out in this community.”
FRAm chairman Christopher Sharpe said: “The residents association does not have an agenda against any individual. It never has.
“We campaign against the housing developments and will hold to account those who say they represent [residents]. We expect them to act as they should, in an honest and decent way in upholding what the town council has voted for.”
At the end of the meeting, Ms Youngs made an emotional declaration in which she said she was resigning both from the position of chairwoman and as a member of Framlingham Town Council.
She said the role of chairwoman was one which she felt “proud and very honoured” to have held.
“This has been my decision, but I don’t think I have got the support of the council,” she said. “It’s a sad day for me. I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”
Council vice-chairwoman, now interim chairwoman, Stephanie Bennall said: “I would like to put on record appreciation for the hard work and anergy Carolyn Youngs has put to the council for the last six years.”
Speaking after the meeting, FRAm chairman Chris Sharpe said: “It’s regretable that it has come to this...She [Carolyn] put a lot of hard work and dedication into the town over the years.
“This is not about personalities. The issue is about the town working together.
“I look forward to us working more closely with the town council in defending the appeals for Mount Pleasant and Fairfield Road, as we offered at the meeting today.”
A new chairman will be elected at the next meeting of Framlingham Town Council on Thursday, January 7.