Mid Suffolk district councillors step in as six Mellis parish councillors resign

Councillors resign in Mellis
Councillors resign in Mellis
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A Suffolk village has been left without a parish council after all six councillors resigned in a show of protest.

Councillors Simon Cairns, Rowland Warboys, Mike Winmill, Carol Winmill and Paul Sullivan all resigned after the parish council’s clerk Hilary Butler was independently investigated by East Direct Ltd.

The investigation concerned a complaint about the suspected failure to disclose a pecuniary interest when the parish council considered a planning application from Carl Wilby for a proposed change of use for a barn in Drury Lane, Mellis.

A statement from Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “The full investigation is now complete and has not found any evidence of a breach of the councillors’ code of conduct.

“The situation in Mellis – of having no parish council – is unusual but not unprecedented, and there is a statutory response to cover the parish council’s responsibilities until a new council can be in place.

“This is for district councillors to cover the parish council’s duties.”

The three district councillors currently covering the parish council’s duties are Diana Kearsley, Roy Barker and Andrew Stringer.

They are being supported by a temporary parish clerk provided by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils.

According to the parish council’s website, the councillors collectively said that the district council’s “handling of the matter fell well short of what could have reasonably been expected”.

The councillors resigned during the second strand of the investigation.

Mrs Butler did not wish to comment when contacted by the Diss Express.

The parish council is now looking for people to put themselves forward as a councillor. The next meeting will be on July 17 at 6pm.