Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Seaford mayor fails in bid to withdraw resignation
A mayor who quit his role after allegedly clashing with a council leader tried to rescind his resignation - but was told it was too late.
Independent councillor Anthony White cited stress when he stepped down from Seaford Town Council as Mayor earlier this month.
His resignation came after reports he clashed with former council leader Ian White over an alleged 9 per cent increase in council tax.
But after announcing his intention to return to his post on Monday and subsequently taking his seat at a council meeting on the same evening, town clerk Sam Shippen told him it was too late to come back.
The incident came after weeks of drama at the authority that included allegations of bullying, infighting and incompetence among council chiefs and a “farcical” council meeting where police were called to remove a member of the public.
Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, called in district auditors and described the council as “dysfunctional and out of control”.
Lib Dem Councillor Bob Allen said: “It was an unusual meeting in the fact that for 30 minutes we were delayed while the legal framework of his resignation was sorted out.
“The legal advice he had was that his resignation wasn't valid until he had offered it to full council, which by that point he hadn't.
“But the council had a different interpretation of the law which said he was no longer a councillor and shouldn't have taken his place.”
In a statement that announced his intended return to the council, Mr White said he made the decision following an “extraordinary level of support from the public” and he felt his return to office would go towards “settling the negative allegations that have publicly aired”.
An internal review into the events of the past few months will be carried out by new Conservative council leader Paul Franklin, his Conservative deputy leader Barry Burfield and Lib Dem leader of the minority Bob Allen.
Councillor Allen said: “There will be a review but I don't know when it's going to take place.
“We're going to be looking at what brought the council into alleged disrepute and are asking an independent outsider to take part. It's been a bit of a mess.”
Comments are closed on this article.