Council has half its seats vacant as chairman and clerk resign

Hoveton Parish Council chairman Martin Richmond. Photo: Simon Finlay

Martin Richmond, formerly Hoveton Parish Council chairman. Photo: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The chairman and the clerk of a Broads village council have resigned their posts at almost the same time. 

Martin Richmond has quit Hoveton Parish Council after serving as its chairman for more than six years, and clerk Lisa Weller has also resigned. 

Mr Richmond, who joined the council 10 years ago after relocating from Glasgow, said he was finding it increasingly difficult to juggle the role with his job as a consultant. 

Mr Richmond said: "I've spent most of the last year working abroad and I'm going to be doing the same this year, so I felt I wasn't able to do it justice. 

"I joined the parish council to get involved with the community. I've loved it and I'll miss it a lot, and it's very possible I might go back to it one day when I have more time." 

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Early last year, Mr Richmond wrote an open letter to residents taking aim against "vexatious or disruptive behaviour by members of the public towards councillors or council employees".

Concerns raised in the letter included verbal abuse of councillors and volunteers, and unfounded allegations about the council which were made to North Norfolk District Council. 

MORE: The village at war - parish council chairman’s letter on two years of ‘false allegations and abuse’ to councillors and staff

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But Mr Richmond said his resignation was not connected to those concerns. 

The future of the two roles will be discussed at a parish council meeting on Monday, January 11.

Peter Howe, who is acting chairman, said there were now only six councillors, meaning there was space for up to another six if they could be recruited.

Mr Howe said: "It is unfortunate that it has happened together but we can deal with these things.

"We do need more people to join us. There are a lot of tasks we have to do and we someone to step up to the plate to help move forward.

"We're looking for people who are prepared to get their hands dirty and volunteer to do things in the village." 

Mr Howe said Ms Weller, who was parish clerk as well as the council's responsible financial officer, had left as she "wanted to move onto other things".

Anyone interested in finding out more can email, or visit 

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