‘Difference of opinion’ sees a quarter of parish council’s members resign

Shelagh Gurney and David King of Hellesdon Parish Council Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Shelagh Gurney and David King of Hellesdon Parish Council Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A parish council is sending its community to the polls after a quarter of its councillors resigned at once.

Former Hellesdon Parish Council member Danny Buck. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives

Former Hellesdon Parish Council member Danny Buck. Picture: Norfolk Conservatives - Credit: Submitted

Danny Buck, Richard Grady, Graham Everett and Sue Prutton have all stood down from Hellesdon Parish Council, triggering a by-election next week, with the council now four members light.

And while the reasons for their resignations may differ, one has claimed that the way the council is run influenced his decision.

Mr Grady said: 'From my point of view there was simply a fundamental difference in opinion with the way the council was run. It reached a point where after six years it was the right time for me to step down.

'Personally I believe the people of Hellesdon deserve better than the service they are currently getting.'

Chairman of Drayton Parish Council Graham Everett at traffic calming measures on Drayton Hall Lane.

Chairman of Drayton Parish Council Graham Everett at traffic calming measures on Drayton Hall Lane. Picture: Dominic Gilbert - Credit: Archant


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For Mr Everett, however, it was a case of wanting to devote more of his time to another community, neighbouring Drayton, where he is chairman of the parish council.

He said: 'Resigning is something I had thought about for a while, but did not really want to step down on my own and trigger a by-election for one seat. When I found others were resigning it just felt the right time.'

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A source close to the council, who did wish to be named, said there was an unsavoury culture within the parish walls, illustrated by a high turnover of staff in recent years. In the past three years the council has seen four different people serve as clerk, including a lengthy period in which the role was filled by a locum member of staff.

Mrs Prutton chose not to comment on why she resigned. Mr Buck has been contacted.

Former Hellesdon Parish Council member Richard Grady Photo: Bill Smith

Former Hellesdon Parish Council member Richard Grady Photo: Bill Smith

Shelagh Gurney, county and district councillor for Hellesdon - and a long-serving parish councillor - said: 'Each councillor had their own reasons for resigning but at the end of the election the Conservative group in Hellesdon will still have a majority, will still have control of the council and will continue to work hard for the parish. There were some differences of opinion but these things happen.'

The by-election will be held on Thursday, March 19.

Former Hellesdon Parish Council member Sue Prutton. Picture: Bob Hobbs

Former Hellesdon Parish Council member Sue Prutton. Picture: Bob Hobbs - Credit: Archant

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