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Walberswick: Emergency appointments made for troubled parish council

15:19 07 November 2012

Walberswick

Walberswick

Archant

EMERGENCY appointments have been sanctioned for a troubled parish council left with too few members to properly operate.

Suffolk Coastal councillors last night ordered the temporary appointment of four members to Walberswick Parish Council after everyone quit at the beginning of October.

Among those to resign was chairman David Webb, who has now become the council’s sole member, following his return as the only candidate to come forward for a seat left vacant earlier in the year.

The temporarily appointments will enable the parish council to perform its functions and it is hoped the move could help resolve problems which eventually culminating in the resignation of councillors at the October parish meeting.

Mr Webb said he quit over the nature of communications and volume of requests for information from a small group of villagers, made mainly under the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act. But some residents claimed information had been held back, that questions had gone unanswered and that councillors had acted improperly.

The district council concluded last December that the parish council had been “rather lax or careless” in relation to the proper declaration and recording of interests at meetings.

Mr Webb has now returned to the council after being the only candidate to come forward and fill a seat left vacant by the death of his brother, Keith, earlier this year.

District councillor for Walberswick, Michael Gower, councillor Stephen Burroughes, chair of Blythburgh Parish Council, David Tytler, and former district councillor Peter Austin, who lives in Walberswick, are the four new members of the parish council.

Addressing the council last night, Mr Gower said: “Arguments have bedevilled the atmosphere in the village. A lot of hard words have been said in public and in private and we must find a way to move forward.

“This won’t be easy. I’m not going to make any glib promises but we will be trying our hardest.

“Our purpose will be essentially to make ourselves redundant as soon as possible. It is not our job to run the parish council and we will be urging people to come forward and stand for election.”

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