Councillors resign after peace talks fail

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 June 2012


A PARISH has been left with no council after five of its seven councillors walked out after their attempts to oust a fellow member failed.

Puxton Parish Council, which covers Puxton and Hewish, is asking North Somerset Council to come to its rescue after the mass resignation at a meeting held on May 30.

Councillors had clashed over the past year on several issues, with the root of disagreements reportedly lying between Cllr Tom Dalley and other members, according to clerk Colin Hill.

An informal meeting was held last month in an effort to broker peace talks, but councillors still could not see eye to eye – and Cllr Mark Hamlin instead tabled a vote of no confidence against Cllr Dalley, supported by others.

Mr Hill said: “We have over the last year had conflicts over the way the council should operate from within the council.

“We had an informal meeting in May to see if these differences could be resolved.

“They weren’t resolved at that meeting and since then, five councillors at the council have resigned.

“It is a very, very sad and difficult time but the councillors that have stood down are of the view that it is unfair to the electorate to carry on the way they were carrying on.”

He said councillors clashed over how outside bodies such as North Somerset Council and the Environment Agency should be treated by the parish council, as well as disagreeing on several planning applications over the past year.

Chairman Andy McKenzie was among those to stand down, along with colleagues Geoff Board, Jim Gilbody and Mark Hamlin.

Cllr Michael Cunningham also resigned due to health reasons.

Now, the council has just two councillors left – Tom Dalley and his brother-in-law Chris Redding - along with the clerk.

North Somerset Council confirmed it is looking into what to do about the issue.

Mr Hill said he thought it is likely North Somerset will either open elections or co-opt new councillors itself.

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