Residents vote to hold referendum proposing mass resignation at troubled Suffolk council
PUBLISHED: 21:13 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 21:21 24 May 2018
The people of Hadleigh have voted to hold a referendum proposing a mass resignation of their town councillors.
The motion, brought by former deputy mayor Bill Wilson, has been driven by a deteriorating faith in the council’s management.
Over 100 people turned up to the meeting at Hadleigh’s Guildhall, with interest so high that the building reached capacity and organisers were forced to turn residents away at the door.
Locals were first invited to vote on whether they would like to hold a referendum on the mass resignation of councillors – supported by the vast majority of people in the room.
Residents were then asked to vote on the wording of the question proposed at the referendum, which was agreed to be: “Would you like the current Councillors of Hadleigh Town Council to resign (due to having no confidence in them due to the Town Council being dysfunctional in their current form)?”.
Due to council rules, the referendum can take place no sooner than 14 days, and no later than 25 days from tonight.
A number of residents expressed their discontent with the current state of the council, including former councillor Anita Young, who has resigned in protest.
She said: “It is my opinion that the only solution is to dissolve the present council and replace the Town Clerk to establish a council fit for the 21st century.”
However several residents stood up to defend the councillors, suggesting that a vote of no confidence may be sufficient so as not to waste council funds on holding a referendum – and potentially ousting all current members.
One resident said: “I am amazed that it has come to this.”
Mr Wilson had previously raised the motion at Hadleigh’s annual town meeting on Tuesday, April 24, receiving 24 supporting public votes.
Babergh District Council, which is responsible for calling elections, found the vote had sufficient support - but the request was “invalid as the question was not properly agreed at the meeting”.