08:30AM, Friday 14 February 2020
Six councillors have resigned from Wexham Court Parish Council over concerns about a lack of professional staff in place.
Vice-chairman Robert Aldridge, finance committee members Mark Hamilton and Patricia Aldridge, Lourdes McDonald and Mary and Olivia Parris stepped down on January 23, leaving only five people on the council.
In a statement to the Express, the departing councillors said it had been an honour to serve the people of Wexham but the situation at the parish council had become ‘untenable’.
“As of January 23, six Wexham parish councillors resigned from their posts due to a number of reasons, some because of work and other commitments, some because of the staffing situation,” the joint statement said.
“There is no staff, no clerk, no responsible finance officer or bookings clerk and, without the appropriate staff in place, there is no moving forward, thus making the current situation untenable.”
At the local elections last May the public voted for 11 independents with the newly-formed parish council pledging to fight to protect Wexham’s green spaces.
The parish council is now in a dispute with Slough Borough Council over a £370,000 deal signed between the two parties in November 2016 concerning parish council-owned land in Norway Drive.
The agreement stated the parish council would surrender its lease on the land to make way for the local authority’s planned 24-home Wexham Green development.
But when the development was not delivered in time, the parish council sought legal advice on whether the contract could be terminated; the case now awaits adjudication at the High Court.
Parish council leader Iftakhar Ahmed said: “The timing of the resignation was at a time when we most needed them in order to defend a claim made by Slough Borough Council for the land north of Norway Drive.
“This was part of our manifesto commitment to the parishioners that we will protect our green and open spaces.
“We believe that this is a betrayal of public trust, in particular, by not fulfilling our manifesto commitments.”
He added that the positions of clerk and financial officer have now been filled at the parish council.
The departing councillors did not comment further on the parish council’s dispute with Slough Borough Council.
A spokeswoman for Slough Borough Council said: “The returning officer is aware that six parish councillors have resigned from Wexham Court Parish Council.
“Notice of the vacancies will be published as soon as practicable and the elections team will administer any election which may be required as a result of these resignations.”
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