Debate

Council resignations: Don’t let cynicism win! – A Letter from the Editor

PUBLISHED today are the statements of Jim Lindop and Ann Suggit who resigned from Hedon Town Council on Thursday 14th November 2013 and also the YouTube recording of those events. Cllr Ann Suggit can be seen reading out her statement on the video, but we’ve opted not to republish it in full as will be realised when reading the statements below.

The statements and video (taken on a mobile phone by a member of the audience) should shock people – and quite rightly so! Faith in our local civic governance has been shaken to its very roots.

Whilst that sounds quite dramatic, shaken to its very roots”, a small incident took place yesterday, that demonstrates, I think, the effects these events have had on some local thinking.

Last night we posted the official notice of the resignations from Hedon Town Council on the Hedon Blog, and as is typical it was copied to our Facebook Page – within an hour a handful of quite cheeky and disrespectful comments, appeared below the notice basically taking the mickey out of the whole situation. In itself this is not unusual on Facebook, but it is unusual in our case – and I felt I had to remove the item.

The comments were of the type usually reserved for fiddling MPs during the Parliamentary expenses affair! And my point, is that cynicism is the only winner in this whole debacle. People have yet just another reason to wag their cynical fingers at politicians – but in this case, it is local politicians with a small ‘p’ at the centre of controversy – who are actually all local volunteers!

A personal proposal:

Over the next few weeks and months, those of us with civic pride in Hedon need to make sure that a healing period is allowed to take place. Public reaction to these events can ensure that a contested election is claimed by residents to fill the two vacancies. Candidates that are elected, hopefully backed by a large turnout in the public poll, need to have a very clear mandate from local Hedon voters to restore local pride and respect back in the town’s local government.

Hedon Town Council and Hedon Town Councillors in this Blogger’s opinion do a great job and many are unsung heroes – that includes those who have resigned and I’m delighted to call the Lindops my friends, but also doing a great job in my opinion, are many of those if not all who remain! Councillors are supported in their work by an experienced clerk and staff team.

The work that Councillors do, largely goes on behind the scenes, and while there’s been some welcome ideas about broadcasting the actual public council meetings, it’s ‘behind these scenes’ that things have got nasty and personal and where relationships have deteriorated.

Are things rotten to the core on Hedon Town Council? I think not! But any newly elected candidates need to be given the brief to ‘investigate’ and if necessary ‘repair’ and ‘improve’ the way things are done on the council.

In short I think residents should rally behind a healing Civic Respect and Pride campaign:

  • 10 residents at least need to claim a contested election,
  • Candidates particularly those who have no ‘axe to grind’ should declare their intentions to stand
  • It should be a public poll with voting cards sent to all electors (existing councillors would need to support the expenditure on this)
  • Residents in Hedon need to get out and vote and support those ‘healing’ candidates.

Of course the alternative is to let the cynics win – after all, who cares anyway!?

Ray Duffill, Hedon Blog Editor – a personal opinion

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Statements and Video  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Statement – Jim Lindop

Mayor and Mayoress of Hedon
Jim and Sue Lindop
Resignation

It is with great sadness and deep regret that we feel we must resign as Mayor and Mayoress of Hedon. I also resign as a councillor on Hedon Town Council.

This has been a very difficult decision for us to make, but since the Mayor making, Sue and I have suffered what we can only describe as a nasty vendetta against us, by some of our fellow councillors and a lack of support from others.

I feel I cannot continue to work with councillors that I cannot trust and some that seem incapable of telling the truth.

Sue and I have been extremely proud to have represented Hedon as the Mayor and Mayoress over the last 18 months and hope we have done Hedon proud at all the functions we have hosted, arranged and attended.

We wish to thank the residents of Hedon who have supported us and those who have contributed to the Mayors Charities.

We would like to sincerely thank Cllr Ann Suggit for her constant unfailing support and advice, also our thanks to Cllr John Dennis and his wife Jennifer for all their help and also Cllr Marshall for his support.

Jim and Sue Lindop
Dated 14th November 2013

Statement dated 14th November 2013

Cllr Ann Suggit

Having been involved on Hedon Town Council for nearly 50 years the quality of members has sadly deteriorated and does not enhance our reputation as an old Borough and as a result Hedon has lost all credibility.

(A named individual’s) nasty letter containing false information about the Mayor making, it his obvious that his information came from the members who attended a meal in (a local venue), he was not prepared to give me the names of the members present, therefore I have withdrawn my support for the Hedon Museum and St Augustine’s Church, however, I will subscribe to the church, and I have spoken to (two named individuals) regarding my views.

I am aware a verbal apology was given to the Mayor by (a named individual, writer of the letter), however, I feel a public apology is needed, only then will this compensate for the harm which has been done to the Mayor and the Mayoress and family.

I love the Town of Hedon and will always defend the residents and traditions, but have no respect for councillors who are intent in destroying our reputation for spite and jealousy and to gain publicity for themselves.

I treat the last letter dated 25th Sept sent by (five named individuals) and all the other letters sent by this group as pure garbage and only fit for the rubbish bin. However, (a named individual) rang me following the last council meeting trying to make friends after accusing me of lying, I find this disgusting.

Who does (a named individual) think he is signing letters attacking the Mayor and Mayoress, he has nothing to do with this council and should keep his opinion to himself.

I will not be party to this shocking vendetta which has been going on for 6 months against the Mayor and Mayoress and will be forwarding this letter to the press.

I cannot be associated with members of this council and sadly after 50 years it has left me with no other option but to resign as a councillor from Hedon Town Council.

Cllr Ann Suggit

3 replies »

  1. cynical is how people feel Ray , people dont vote or wish to stand as they feel there is a class barrier and that its a closed shop. There is a bad taste left from whats gone on that wont go away, hence my suggestion that the whole council should stand down and a proper election to take place which may encourage people to stand and also to vote, i feel this is the only way we can restore any confidence that our town is being run in a competent manner and not by a bunch of schoolyard bullies.Current Councillors could stand again …let the public decide..

  2. Very well put, Ray, you have made sense out of a very confused situation, and your suggestions are sensible.

    This unfortunate state of affairs really comes about following a clash of opinions between a small number of strong minded people over the Mayormaking ceremony and matters have deteriorated steadily since then.

    I feel it’s a very sad episode for our ancient council, which has 850 years of history. For the most, relations between members are harmonious, and we work well together but in recent times, due to mainly personal differences of opinion outside of the council, relationships have deteriorated to the point where we have lost two of our members.

    It makes things more difficult that of the resigned members was the Mayor, Jim Lindop ( does the fact of his mayoralty being the 666th have any bearing, one might ask?) and the responsibility of restoring harmony and getting things back on track therefore for the time being falls to me, as the incumbent Deputy Mayor. I am content to undertake that task during the present difficult period,and am pleased to have had the verbal backing of those members to whom I have spoken.

    I see little point in raking over the external disputes of a small group of people, within the council chamber.

    Hedon residents should know that I will be working to ensure matters settle down again soon so it can be back to business as usual.

    John.

    John Dennis.
    Deputy Mayor, Hedon Town Council.

  3. One cannot help but feel that the biggest loser in all of this is the town of Hedon itself. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation (and I have no way of judging that) the internal conflict and personal differences of councillors must have inhibited balanced debate and judgement on the many issues and threats that this town continues to face. I have come to value and love Hedon in my forty years residence here. I trust that the council will recognise that there are many threats that the town faces and which need the full involvement and cooperation of every member if we are to protect the town and make genuine progress in the future,

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