Parish Council Resignations - Statement by Ian Collinge

  • The last of the recent resignations was tendered at 8.53am on 23 March 2015. At 10.38am, I was contacted by email by Ron Hall, editor of Phonebox Magazine, who was already aware I was the sole councillor, although the resignation had not been publicised before that time. He said he had received several phone calls from concerned residents. He requested information on the matter that could be published in the April issue, the deadline for which was imminent. I submitted the following statement.

Dear Ron,

Thank you for your enquiry about the recent resignations at Sherington Parish Council that have left me as the sole councillor. I am happy to reassure your readers.

Alec Denman, the previous Chairman, has already made public the reasons for his resignation earlier this month. You can read his resignation letter on the Sherington web site, The other 3 councillors did not provide me with reasons for their departure.

The immediate effect is that the one remaining Council meeting in April will be inquorate. Milton Keynes Council was informed immediately. They have the authority to intervene and appoint temporary councillors, so that Council business is not affected. At the time of writing, we are waiting for their decision. Other Councils in a similar position have appointed the Ward Councillors, although they are not obliged to do so. As all three of the Olney Ward Councillors have always worked closely with the PC to look after residents' interests, I would personally welcome such a move.

However, MKC may decide not to appoint anyone at the present time, given the PC elections are but a few weeks away. If that is their decision, we will take advice on whether the April meeting can still go ahead to receive reports, although it would not be able to take decisions. This means that the April business will be deferred to the May meeting, after the elections. Decisions on much-needed repair and enhancement work to the Pavilion would therefore be delayed. Cheques that would have been issued in April would also have to wait for approval until May.

My understanding is that the councillors who have resigned were not planning to stand for re-election anyway, so this has no effect at all on the May PC elections.

Council work not requiring new decisions will continue unaffected. For example, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, which I chair, consists of enthusiastic community volunteers who are proactively addressing the future needs of the village. Their commitment is illustrated by the fact that several of them have been undertaking a 'spring clean' in several parts of the village. I am therefore very confident about the future.

I would particularly like to thank our Parish Clerk, Hannah Balazs, for undertaking the extra work this has placed on her.

Residents who have any concerns or questions may contact the Parish Clerk or myself. Up-to-date information will be available on the Sherington web site.

Best regards,

Ian Collinge

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