New blow for town council

David Thomas who has resigned from Halesworth Town Council this week

David Thomas who has resigned from Halesworth Town Council this week - Credit: Archant

A troubled town council faced a further blow this week with the resignation of two more councillors.

Former Halesworth town councillor Stephen Burroughes stepped down after just a year last month, and this week councillors David Thomas and Dr Andrew Payne have also handed in their resignations.

The pair resigned after both called for chairman Annette Dunning to step down at a meeting of the town council last week.

In his letter of resignation Dr Payne said: 'With the greatest personal regret and with sincere apologies to the Halesworth electorate that elected me and that I promised only one year ago to represent to the best of my abilities, I must inform you that I can no longer remain a Halesworth town councillor under the current regime.

'Ex-councillor Burroughes, in his resignation letter, highlighted the lack of leadership and direction in the town council, and I fully endorse that opinion, as stated in my call for the chair to resign on a matter of honour.

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'I believe that the council's inability to embrace the needs of the present and to build a thriving future for the town is being hamstrung by the inability of many (not all) councillors to see beyond the immediate past history, and I know that in the eyes of many parishioners, the council is now a laughing stock.

'Halesworth is being short-changed by its current town council, and my personal integrity as an individual and a proud townsperson is being compromised by my membership of council.'

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Their resignation follows the retirement of councillor Douglas Mizon in April, and the resignation of five councillors in May last year.

Mr Thomas endorsed the comments of both Mr Burroughes and Dr Payne, describing the council as 'dysfunctional.'

Both councillors have resigned with immediate effect.

Mrs Dunning was unavailable to comment on the latest resignations. But, speaking at the council meeting last week, she said: 'This is the first meeting (since Mr Burroughes' resignation) to read the letter. Having spoken to Stephen it was nothing I have done. There's no conspiracy to hide.'

The matter is expected to be discussed at the next Halesworth Town Council meeting on October 6.

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