'My own health is suffering' - Entire parish council resigns

The former chair of Weasenham Parish Council, Anna Coke

The former chair of Weasenham Parish Council, Anna Coke - Credit: Anna Coke

A village has been left with no members on its parish council after they all resigned.

The six councillors from Weasenham Parish Council resigned on May 19, citing the need to protect their health after being taken to the standards boards over a number of allegations from a single complainant, which were eventually cleared. 

Anna Coke, the chair until her resignation, stated: “It is such a pity that a wonderful village can be ruined by one complainant. The council has achieved a great deal during its relatively short tenure. 

“Unfortunately, we have suffered persistent attacks via the Standards Board regarding alleged misdemeanours which were always exonerated. 

“The very serious allegation of fraud was also dismissed. 

“These attacks can play havoc with one’s health as waiting around for weeks on end each time is stressful, and in the case of alleged fraud, almost a year of waiting left us unable to proceed with expenditure until cleared. 

“The toll on my health and that of others is palpable. We are all volunteers who have put our hearts and souls into making all this happen.

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“It is sad, but enough is enough. My own health is suffering as is that of others."

Mrs Coke and Breckland Council confirmed that three district councillors would be stepping in temporarily to keep the council running.

She added: “I have every faith in the three Breckland councillors who will be taking over and would also like to thank George Freeman for his personal help to me."

Breckland Council mistakenly told residents of Weasenham, between Dereham and Fakenham, the wrong am

Three Breckland ward members will operate in the interim - Credit: IAN BURT

A Breckland Council spokesperson said, “In the interim three Breckland ward members have been put into place to ensure parish business continues.”

Mrs Coke added that despite the difficulties, the council have achieved a great deal - such as the erection of a new community building.

“We managed to construct a small community building on our recreation ground with the wonderful help and enthusiasm of a number of residents who gave time and effort and in some cases generous donations of materials in order to help. 

“The building has five layers of insulation in the ceiling, four on the walls and three under the floor. 

“We also gained access in perpetuity to the ground, eliminating a right of way problem which had persisted for many years.

“There is also now a traffic calming sign on the A1065 near our village school and a further moveable sign in the village."