Walberswick to appoint temporary councillors after resignations

Image caption Walberswick parish councillors resigned en masse last month

A district council has had to step in to help a village whose parish councillors resigned en masse.

All five representatives of Walberswick Parish Council stood down last month in protest against the number of Freedom of Information requests received.

One of the councillors, David Webb, has since returned to fill a post left vacant by a death earlier in the year.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is to appoint three other parish councillors on a temporary basis.

Michael Gower, councillor for Walberswick and Wenhaston, Stephen Burroughes, councillor for Peasenhall, and former district councillor Peter Austin, who lives in the parish, are being recommended to temporarily join the parish council.

Extraordinary meeting

Walberswick Parish Council requires at least three councillors to legally carry out its duties.

The leader of Suffolk Coastal, councillor Ray Herring, said the appointments would be made using the council's powers under the 1972 Local Government Act.

"This would be a stop gap measure so that the parish council can continue its important work and find its own local solutions to its lack of councillors," he said.

"That may mean more costly by-elections or the co-opting of other local people, but the long-term answer has to be found within the village."

The proposed appointments will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday.

Walberswick's parish councillors quit after a row with a group of residents, who they said submitted more than 100 Freedom of Information requests.

Mr Webb was elected back to the council unopposed last week, but there was not enough time to organise the by-election to find replacements for the other six seats.

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