A mass exodus of councillors

Sandy Town Council
Sandy Town Council

A council that is struggling to keep its members has this week seen further resignations.

Sandy Town Council has seen nine of its 15 members leave since the start of the electoral term in 2011.

A total of six councillors have stepped down this year alone, with a further three leaving the council before then.

The latest councillors to leave are Teresa Cole, Fallowfield Ward and Michael Groom, Pinnacle Ward.

Both were co-opted to the council on May 19 this year to replace councillors who had already left.

Mr Groom, who has spent the last six months reversing the fortunes of the town’s markets, said: “I am used to working in very professional organisations and with professional people.

“I will not be seeking re-election if the mayor and town clerk are still in their positions. I think the council is suffering from a lack of leadership and weak management.”

He added that there had been no personal acknowledgement of his resignation.

Sandy Town Mayor, 
Councillor Will Jackson, said: “During this council’s term of office nine councillors have resigned for various reasons.

“It is a great pity that so many of those who have stood as applicants for co-option or been elected in by-elections have not felt able to continue to the end of the term.

“The council looks carefully at the reasons for every resignation.

“We have already started a programme of events and publicity to try to explain what is involved in being a councillor so that candidates are more fully informed about what to expect before the next full election in May 2015.”

It is also understood that Councillor Keith Sharpe intends to resign but he has yet to hand in his written statement to the mayor.

This would mean a tenth member quitting the council in the last four years and the third within a week.

Sharon Walsh handed in her notice in the summer, while in March, councillors Ken Lynch and Andy Maycock resigned from the council.

Former mayor, Geoff White, resigned in January, citing the town council’s rule that councillors must not criticise its decisions as his reason for stepping down.

Five of the council’s original members have remained in their positions.

All 15 of the council’s seats will be open to election in May 2015.

To find out about standing for a position, see www.sandytowncouncil.gov.uk