THE chairman of Whiteparish Parish Council, dramatically ousted in a vote of no confidence last month, has been re-elected to the post.
Trevor King saw off a challenge from fellow councillor Ian Scaife last Thursday.
And three councillors, including Mr Scaife, resigned as a result.
One of them, Stuart McWilliam, said the trio – the third member was Robert Twiddy – quit because “this election did not represent the feelings of the village”.
He pointed out that not all of those who had opposed Mr King last month were able to take part in the election.
The councillor who proposed the vote of no confidence, Richard Clewer, was still on his way back from another meeting.
Before resigning cllr McWilliam suggested the entire parish council ought to stand down and seek a fresh mandate from local electors.
Cllr King said: “It has all been very, very unpleasant. But I have received immense support from the people of Whiteparish and also from surrounding villages, and that is the reason why I stood as
a candidate for the chairmanship again.”
The issue that originally split the village and led to the vote of no confidence was the affordable housing plan for Newton Lane.
The parish council has campaigned for more affordable housing for 14 years, but the application has attracted strong and vocal opposition from many residents.
Cllr King, who owns land opposite the site, which he has put forward for possible development, declared a personal and prejudicial interest when the planning application came up for debate.
However, a letter from the council, bearing his name and signed by parish clerk Anita Boakes, had been sent out urging support for the scheme.
Parish councils are not allowed to determine an application that has not yet come before them at a public meeting, and are not allowed to canvass support on such matters.
This week the village’s district councillor Richard Britton, who was at last Thursday’s election, said: “Just because their man didn’t get elected in a perfectly fair and democratic election, these
three councillors walked away. It’s extremely sad.
“It’s a misunderstanding of what the parish council is all about. It’s up to every individual councillor to make up his or her mind on an issue affecting the village. We can’t have a referendum on
“It’s right that Trevor was re-elected. He’s extremely hardworking and knowledgeable about the background of the issues affecting the village.
“He’s a strong, determined chairman, which is what upset the others. But he gives everyone a fair hearing.”