THREE councillors in Alderholt resigned in one night and accused the parish council of being a “complacent and failing” organisation.

Colin English, who was council chairman, Stephen Godsall, and Hywel Morris stood down from Alderholt Parish Council on March 9. A statement at the meeting said: “We joined the council keen to put time and effort into representing the views of local people. What we found was a complacent and failing organisation.

Some long-standing councillors have done nothing but block progress on any new initiatives.

“Most organisations recruiting volunteers will make them welcome and make use of their skills. Instead we faced open hostility. We have seen attacks on the council chairman, members standing up and shouting at meetings, dishonest accusations and stubborn negativity.

“In May, the council unanimously declared a climate emergency, but every proposal made to support this declaration has been thwarted. An example is our proposal to plant trees around the recreation ground which was met with spurious objections. This is in stark contrast with the actions of Ringwood council which provided space for 500 trees in response to a request made by a local action group.

“Other proposals for enhanced recycling facilities have also been frustrated. Some long-standing members of the council appear to relish finding problems with proposals to support the climate emergency declaration, rather than finding solutions.”

“We have put forward initiatives like a neighbourhood plan with an identified source of funding. Unfortunately some people on the council have done everything possible to find problems with this initiative in order to first prevent it and then delay it,” the statement said.

“It is with great regret and concern that we resign from Alderholt Parish Council. There is a culture of “we know best” at APC which must change. We can only hope that by standing aside tension will be reduced and allow the new APC to function at some level and to take action on the projects that is urgently needed.”

The parish council declined to comment. The vacancies have not currently been filled. In January, councillors Martin Smethers and Alan Stockley resigned.