Bembridge Parish Council’s clerk, Emma Goldring, has resigned from her post with immediate effect.
The resignation, which was made by Mrs Goldring herself during last night’s parish meeting, follows on from a vote of no confidence from the public earlier this month.
It was on 5th September that local residents called a meeting and passed a vote of no confidence in the Parish Council’s Clerk and 7 councillors. It is as a result of the long-running saga over the controversial sale of a council-owned property in the High Street.
In a statement issued today, Bembridge Parish Council have said that the resignation is as a result of ‘continued and targeted campaign of bullying and harassment by certain Councillors and their Open Bembridge supporters over a period of some 18 months’. The Council have gone on to say the behaviour was ‘unnecessary and unwarranted’.
The spokesperson has said:
“Mrs Goldring has behaved in an exemplary and professional way throughout this period which included nasty and vile personal comments both in person and on Social Media together with attempts to incite hatred.
“Many of those responsible for this behaviour do not understand the legal process or the duties bestowed upon their Parish Council. There are several Agenda items that must be discussed in private (excluding the press and public) due to the confidential nature of its content, this is a legislative and a mandatory requirement.
“Every time an Agenda is published, a pack is made available to all Councillors with any accompanying documentation for them to read and understand to enable them to discuss or reach a decision at the Council meeting. This is the way Councils are run.
“The Code of Conduct which currently exists for complaints against Councillors is totally worthless since the introduction of the Localism Act 2011. This essentially means that complaints if upheld offer no meaningful sanctions which totally undermines the Parish & Town Council sector.
“The awards that Bembridge Parish Council has won under the Clerkship of Mrs Goldring are numerous and adorn the wall of the Parish Office. Under the Hampshire & IOW Village Of The Year awards, Mrs Goldring also won the award for Most Inspirational Individual not once, but TWICE, the only person ever to do so; this is a testament to her drive, commitment and professional approach to her work.
“In summation the Parishioners of Bembridge have lost an integral part of the Parish Council and will be left with a void that will be very hard to fill. We wish her well in her endeavours and in her own words: “this is not an Open Bembridge victory, it is a travesty for the genuine people of Bembridge”.