Sixth councillor quits town authority

A TOWN council that was accused of bickering has been hit with the sudden resignation of a sixth councillor.

Dennis Peel has stepped down from Aldeburgh Town Council with immediate effect.

Mayor Kevin Webster announced his departure at the monthly town council meeting on Monday night.

He said Mr Peel had left because of “personal reasons” but would not be able to read his letter of resignation out because of rules under the Data Protection Act.

Mr Peel’s departure follows that of five other councillors in January this year amid claims of bickering among town council members.

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Former mayor Jimmy Robinson, district councillor Marianne Fellowes, TJ Howarth, Alison Foxon and Caron Hill all stepped down.

At the time Mr Peel, who had only recently joined the town council, called for a better atmosphere in the chamber during meetings.

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Speaking to the EADT last night he said: “My resignation was due to a number of issues.

“Firstly, I feel that many important decisions are not being made in full committee but in social chit-chat away from the council chambers.

“I was also unhappy with the way ex-council members were treated and I have been prevented from having items put on the agenda.

“I also feel that unelected administration members of the town council have far too much say at meetings and make some decisions without referring to anyone.

“When you have six councillors resign within a few months and en bloc you have to ask why and try and address the problem.”

Mr Peel, who runs The Mill Inn in Aldeburgh, said he felt he could do more for the town from outside the council and would be concentrating on the charities he was involved with.

His resignation was announced on the same night that five new members were welcomed on to the council to replace those who left earlier this year.

Tanya Stedman-Keeble, Peter Fox, Peter Harris, Michael Kiff and Diane Hinves will take up their seats next month.

Both Lindsay Lee, town clerk for Aldeburgh Town Council, and the mayor declined to comment on the reasons for Mr Peel’s resignation last night.

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