Yoxford: Parish chairman called upon to resign

An aerial shot of Yoxford by Mike Page.

An aerial shot of Yoxford by Mike Page. - Credit: Mike Page

The chairman of a parish council has been called upon to stand down amid accusations of bringing the authority into disrepute.

Yoxford parish clerk Sally Barker also said that councillor Nigel Kerridge had become “erratic and irrational” during Thursday’s meeting – her last in the role after resigning.

The majority of councillors, however, passed a vote of confidence in Mr Kerridge by a margin of six to one in favour. Three abstained.

Ms Barker had criticised the chairman for making “unilateral decisions” showing a “remarkable lack of respect for the law” and “seriously undermining” the council’s work.

“The attitude and behaviour of the current chair is bringing the council into disrepute and is contrary to the interests of the parishioners,” she said. “I believe that the behaviour of the chair has become so erratic and irrational that he should stand down.”

Mr Kerridge said he was “quite prepared to go” though he appeared exasperated by the accusations.

“I’ve taken the blame for this and I’ve not said anything bad towards her at all,” he said. “I’ve had this sort of thing for the past six months.”

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Councillor Edward Draper said he had “not seen any evidence” of the alleged failings before calling for the vote of confidence.

The only councillor to support the clerk’s calls for resignation was Pat Wallace, who, like Ms Barker, was unhappy with the chairman’s handling of a contentious housing application.

“People are not happy about it,” he said.

Councillor Jane McIntyre, who abstained from the vote of confidence, said it was “difficult to blame one individual” though she conceded there had been some “very obvious” difficulties at the council.