'Made to feel uncomfortable' - Town councillors resign

Alan and Kay Grey are setting up shop in Dereham. Picture: Nick Butcher

Alan and Kay Grey sent their letter of resignation on Sunday - Credit: Nick Butcher

A married couple have resigned from a Norfolk town council - saying that they felt uncomfortable expressing their views. 
 
In a joint letter to Dereham mayor Stuart Green on Sunday January 24, Alan and Kay Grey wrote:
 
“A healthy council is councillor led, questions at meetings are asked and answered, where councillors should not be made to feel uncomfortable in asking those questions and where information is freely given when requested to make informed decisions. 
 
“Councillors should be allowed to have a different point of view and feel comfortable in expressing those views.
 
“Please accept our resignations with immediate effect from Dereham Town Council.
 
“We wish all councillors and staff all the best for the future and to stay safe in these trying times.”
 
Mr and Mrs Grey were approached for comment, but said they had nothing more to add.
 
Mrs Grey confirmed however that she would continue to represent Dereham Withburga on Breckland District Council. 

Stuart Green, 27, the new mayor of Dereham, and believed to be the youngest they have ever had. Pict

Mayor Stuart Green thanked the couple for their contribution to the council's work. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

In a statement, Mr Green said: “I'd like to thank Alan and Kay for their time on the council and for their work and contributions during that time.
 
“It's a shame they have decided to resign from the council and didn’t feel that they could contribute any further.”
 
The couple had recently been at odds with the rest of the council over the question of raising the town’s level of council tax. 
 
At a meeting of the council’s finance committee on January 5, while most councillors wanted at least a three percent rise, Mr Grey said there should be no rise and in a heated exchange, Mrs Grey asked the rest of the council if any of them had been furloughed. 
 
Town clerk Tony Needham gave notice of their resignations on Wednesday January 27.
 
Electors in Dereham Central West and Dereham Withburga have until 16 February to request a by-election be held. If 10 such requests are not received in each ward, then the town council will fill the vacancies by co-option. 
 
Due to the coronavirus regulations, a by-election cannot be held until May 6.
 
All requests (in writing) for an election to fill the vacancy should be sent to:
 
The Returning Officer
Breckland Council 
Elizabeth House
Walpole Loke
Dereham
Norfolk NR19 1EE


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