Halesworth: Town council votes not to replace retiring members after string of resignations

Halesworth Thoroughfare

Halesworth Thoroughfare - Credit: Archant

Vacancies on a town council following recent resignations will not be filled, it has been decided.

Three members of Halesworth Town Council have stepped down in recent months, and at the latest full meeting, those remaining have chosen not to fill the vacancies available ahead of May’s election.

In August Stephen Burroughes resigned, followed by David Thomas and Andrew Payne last month.

When asked by a member of the public about the resignations and what could be done, town councillor Nat Bocking said: “I don’t know how constructive it is to go through those letters,” adding they were “spinning without basis in fact.”

Mr Bocking added: “The letters attacked our chairperson which was unreasonable.”

He said at times he thought of resigning but wanted to serve the town the best way he could, adding: “We want to focus on what’s ahead of us and want to move on.”

Later in the meeting, town council chairman Annette Dunning said: “We have to formally recognise the resignations of David Thomas and Andrew Payne. They gave their resignation letters to the press before the town council got copies. I’m not going to read them because I think they have had enough press.”

The letters were offered for those in the public gallery to see.

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Mrs Dunning added: “Trying to overcome the bad press will be difficult, but we will overcome it.

“I will not see the work of the people of Halesworth brought down by petty arguments.”

The idea of keeping the council with it’s current members without any additional representatives was then put forward by Mrs Dunning.

She added: “It’s a massive trouble doing it (electing new councillors) for the few months before the election.”

Mr Bocking said: “I think the current unit should move forward.

“It would be a distraction to bring people in for a short period of time.”

Mrs Dunning added: “We’ve got to get the town council to work for the people of Halesworth.”

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