Mass resignation at Langport

Whilst it is not quite on the scale of the resignations that hit Somerton in 2009, Langport Town Council has just been hit by the sudden resignation of four councillors. With a normal complement of 11 councillors the loss of four councillors at one go will leave the council struggling. The electors of Langport must now choose between calling an election (which must be called by the 1st July) or else the council will be forced to find four co-optees. Either way that will be no small task from what is, let’s face it, a relatively small town. It is also likely to result in an expensive election just a year before elections have to be held anyway for the whole council.

Although we understand that the four, all members of the Town’s Transition group, handed in their resignations last week, the notice of vacancies was only published today on the official town notice board.

There was certainly no sign of any discord at the last council meeting which took place on Tuesday 3rd June. However the clues may lie in the last item which was held in camera. If that was the source of discord, then we are unlikely to know for a while. Why? Quite simply councillors and ex councillors alike will be unable to discuss in public, any aspect of a matter for which they received confidential information. That duty to hold that information confidential stays with councillors after they resign.

The four councillors who stood down include Cara Naden, a former Vice Chair of the Council, Val Saunders, Caroline Dunn and Julie Taylor. It will certainly not do much for the gender balance on the council either which is a shame. Langport Town Council was unusual in as much as up until this week the council had a majority of female councillors.

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