Attleborough councillor will keep seat - despite temporary move to Hong Kong

Queens Square in Attleborough has new railings installed. They are officially opened by Mayor Karen

Queens Square in Attleborough has new railings installed. They are officially opened by Mayor Karen Pettitt. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

An Attleborough district councillor will keep her seat when she relocates 5,800 miles away to Hong Kong for a part of the year.

Karen Pettitt, a former mayor and well-known figure in the town, who is also a Conservative Breckland Councillor for the Queens and Besthorpe ward, moved with her husband last week for an initial period of three months.

The district council confirmed Mrs Pettitt would keep her ward seat, but would not be paid the basic allowance of £5,200 a year and would step down from her cabinet role as an executive member for public protection.

Mrs Pettitt, who has a hand organising the Christmas and summer carnivals, said she would fulfil many duties by email, but that fellow councillors Tristan Ashby and Rhodri Oliver had offered their support.

She said: 'It has all happened so quickly that to give the seat up when I don't know what will be happening in a few months seemed rash.'

The seat will be hers for three months, when a more permanent decision will be made.

Michael Wassell, leader of the council, said 'all councillors are entitled to take time off', but due to the length of the trip Mrs Pettitt had decided it was appropriate to no longer be a cabinet member.

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Tony Perkins, Attleborough mayor, said he has 'great respect' for Mrs Pettitt and her work as previous mayor.

'I know she has Attleborough at heart. It's a small world we live in today so there is some contact that can still be done via email,' he said. 'I wish her well and a speedy return.'

In March, Brian Riley sparked anger when he refused to stand down from his Suffolk County Council seat in Hadleigh despite retiring to America.

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