Resignation of veteran councillor of four decades deals blow to parish council

Tony Adams, Broadland District Councillor for Hellesdon South West.

Tony Adams, Broadland District Councillor for Hellesdon South West. - Credit: Submitted

A parish council has been dealt a blow with the resignation of a veteran councillor of 40 years, Tony Adams.

Mr Adams, who has represented the south-east ward of Hellesdon for both the parish council and Broadland District Council since 1976, handed in his resignation to the parish as he chaired his final staffing committee meeting this month.

Citing 'personal differences' as the reason for his departure, Mr Adams said problems had first begun when Hellesdon community centre was brought into the control of the parish council, putting a huge strain on resources.

'It is in chaos,' he said. 'We were making decisions not in a cohesive way but with knee jerk reactions.

'Two members of staff are now off on work-related sick leave.

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'I think from about February we should have had a far better system for monitoring the additional workload of maintaining the community centre and the impact that was having on the office.

'Had we have done so we might have picked up on the fact that the workload on the clerk was becoming intolerable, and we might have been able to take action.'

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The clerk of the council has now been on leave with work-related stress for five to six weeks. 'In my opinion we should have recognised that the clerk's workload was such that she was not really in a position to take on any additional work relating to the community centre and should have ensured that did not happen,' added Mr Adams. 'We are the employers and the clerk is there to carry out what the council instruct her to.'

At the time he resigned, options were being explored for the future of the community centre, he said.

'One of the options that will be looked at is the parish council have commissioned an architect to look at having a brand new community centre built on site.

'The current community centre requires an awful lot of work to be done on it - upwards of £250,000 to £300,000. It is an old building, from 1954/55, and even if we put in a lot of refurbishments with the CIL money that will be forthcoming, given the fact we will have additional residents, will the community centre really offer a good, attractive venue?

'We commissioned a report on the possibility of doing that with a view to looking 40 to 50 years in the future.'

Mr Adams will continue as a district and county councillor representing Hellesdon.

'I have been in the parish council for 40 years, and next year will be 20 years as a county councillor,' he said. 'It is very sad to be leaving and it is my very strong view that it is entirely avoidable. I am not absolving myself of blame.'

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