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Three councillors resign from town council within a week

Traders and locals pictured with the planters in the middle of Reepham. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Traders and locals pictured with the planters in the middle of Reepham. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

A long-serving chairman is among three councillors to resign from a mid Norfolk town council within a week.

The planters in Reepham. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe planters in Reepham. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The move has prompted an extraordinary general meeting of Reepham Town Council following the recent resignation of Les Paterson, the current chairman, Anne Woollett and Jools Line.

Mr Paterson had served on the council for more than 10 years and was elected chairman in May 2011.

He explained that he had made his decision following the handling of a dispute over the installation of planters in the town’s centre.

Earlier this year, Reepham Town Council agreed to proposals put forward by Broadland District Council to install planters to help create a socially-distanced safe space for shoppers, which would see parking spaces lost.

The planters in the middle of Reepham which caused a dispute. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe planters in the middle of Reepham which caused a dispute. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

But the council faced opposition from local people after they were put in place in August, and subsequently moved them.

Mr Paterson said: “In a meeting of the council, I proposed that the planters be put back but that was not agreed. A motion was then put forward to move them altogether.”

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The town council carried out a survey of parking availability in the town, which showed it to be sufficient without the spaces in the market place.

Mr Paterson added that there was enough parking in nearby Station Road and Stimpson’s Place, and said he was concerned that the town council had not had enough time to consult with traders and shoppers before taking the decision to move the planters permanently.

He added: “I wish the new council all success but I could not see a way for me to continue on this issue.”

Mr Paterson will remain on the town council until October 31 to enable it to carry out its financial duties.

Ms Line confirmed that she had resigned due to personal circumstances, and Ms Woollett was approached for comment.

Reepham Town Council confirmed the resignations.

The emergency meeting has been called with a view to elect a chair and vice chair, as well as appointing representatives for the town hall management committee and electing councillors for the personnel committee, and will be held virtually via Zoom at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 7.

Please contact Jo Boxall, Reepham Town Council clerk, by emailing clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk.


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