Town council chairman resigns
BRANDON Town Council's chairman has resigned, saying "apathetic" councillors are stalling the town's future. Ron Banks is another in a long line of councillors who have left the council in the past two years.
BRANDON Town Council's chairman has resigned, saying "apathetic" councillors are stalling the town's future.
Ron Banks is another in a long line of councillors who have left the council in the past two years.
His announcement comes a month before the council loses its clerk, Linda Sherer, who is serving her three months' notice to quit.
Mr Banks, 81, who was voted back on to the council in May after a two-year break, said yesterday he felt he had been "wasting his time".
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"When I was elected back again and was made chairman, I thought we could get on and get some good things done. But instead I have been frustrated," said Mr Banks, who resigned after criticism from councillors over a job advert.
"Councillors seem to be apathetic – not all and not the majority of them – but nothing gets done. Brandon will never go forward.
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"I stopped councillors arguing every point and meetings were running a bit better, but we have not achieved a thing on the ground in two months.
"I am sorry to be disappointing the town, but I'm afraid I had to go."
Mr Banks explained that on advertising for a new clerk, he went on holiday, delegating four other councillors to deal with applications for the clerk's position in his absence. The interviews and selections were to be made on his return.
Mr Banks said: "I returned to find criticism for having issued the adverts for the job in case some councillors wanted a part-time clerk. Nobody ever put it up for discussion before they saw the advert in print.
"They wanted 14 people to sit around the table with 20 applications to sort the chiff from the chaff and to select who should be interviewed. It was a complete waste of time.
"If I can't, as chairman, be trusted to do a simple thing like this, what can I be trusted with?"
Mr Banks said no progress would be made if the council continued to insist on sharing responsibility for every item and that four councillors should be sufficient to make decisions in some matters.
Wrangles have plagued the council for years.
In December 2001, it was claimed that infighting was crippling the authority and several councillors and two clerks left the council.
Mrs Sherer was asked to help temporarily on the recommendation of the Suffolk Association of Local Councils.
She was later appointed to the post permanently, but resigned in June.
nAn election to fill the councillor vacancy will be held if 10 residents write to the Forest Heath District Council's returning officer within 14 days. If no notice is received, the town council will co-opt a member.