Seaford mayor fails in bid to withdraw resignation

Anthony White

Anthony White

First published in News
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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 (9)

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7:52am Wed 29 Jan 14

John Steed says...

Lets see the terms of reference for the two investigations into the behaviour of this council and its member. they way they conduct themselves would be farcical if it were anything other than the town council. The mayor receives good legal advice only to be twarted by apparent improper interpritation by others who had apparently not received any legal advice, good or otherwise.
Lets see the terms of reference for the two investigations into the behaviour of this council and its member. they way they conduct themselves would be farcical if it were anything other than the town council. The mayor receives good legal advice only to be twarted by apparent improper interpritation by others who had apparently not received any legal advice, good or otherwise. John Steed
  • Score: 10

9:32am Wed 29 Jan 14

Greenginkgo says...

How will a review carried out by people who are involved in the actions complained of be independent or impartial? This needs to be carried out by a competent body such as the Audit Commission.
How will a review carried out by people who are involved in the actions complained of be independent or impartial? This needs to be carried out by a competent body such as the Audit Commission. Greenginkgo
  • Score: 6

10:22am Wed 29 Jan 14

qm says...

"The Farce" - Act II - Scene I - in a town near you . . . . .
"The Farce" - Act II - Scene I - in a town near you . . . . . qm
  • Score: 3

10:47am Wed 29 Jan 14

clivebrown says...

Many allegations flying around that the Town Clerk, Sam Shippen threatened to sue if the Mayor didnt resign - and then sued when he resigned anyway!
"Corruption", "dirty tricks", "unfit for public office","rotten" , "bully" ... all words used when referring to Town Clerk. Shes the talk of the facebook page "seaford notice board".. go check..
Many allegations flying around that the Town Clerk, Sam Shippen threatened to sue if the Mayor didnt resign - and then sued when he resigned anyway! "Corruption", "dirty tricks", "unfit for public office","rotten" , "bully" ... all words used when referring to Town Clerk. Shes the talk of the facebook page "seaford notice board".. go check.. clivebrown
  • Score: 5

11:54am Wed 29 Jan 14

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Would hardly call Seaford Town Council an 'authority'!
It deals with a graveyard, a sports field and a miscellany of trivial Seaford matters.
Lewes District Council & East Sussex County Council, bless them or hate them!, are the real authorities.
Heading should be 'storm in a teacup'!!
Would hardly call Seaford Town Council an 'authority'! It deals with a graveyard, a sports field and a miscellany of trivial Seaford matters. Lewes District Council & East Sussex County Council, bless them or hate them!, are the real authorities. Heading should be 'storm in a teacup'!! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 1

1:53pm Wed 29 Jan 14

BobbyVee says...

The way OUR mayor was treated in public on Monday night was an absolute disgrace. I was there and felt ashamed of the behaviour of the councillors I voted for.
Even though there was a difference of legal opinion, there was after all a recorded vote to accept the mayor’s resignation or reject it: THEY COULD HAVE CHOSEN FOR HIM TO REMAIN as the public were demanding.
However, it appeared that the majority couldn’t wait to place their vote to throw this good man out.
Had they had ANY intention of listening to the electorate that was their chance to demonstrate it. Instead they sent out a very clear message to the residents of Seaford, they are not interested in listening to us.
I hope that the names of those involved are soon published so that when the next election arrives we can vote out those power crazy hypocrites.
The way OUR mayor was treated in public on Monday night was an absolute disgrace. I was there and felt ashamed of the behaviour of the councillors I voted for. Even though there was a difference of legal opinion, there was after all a recorded vote to accept the mayor’s resignation or reject it: THEY COULD HAVE CHOSEN FOR HIM TO REMAIN as the public were demanding. However, it appeared that the majority couldn’t wait to place their vote to throw this good man out. Had they had ANY intention of listening to the electorate that was their chance to demonstrate it. Instead they sent out a very clear message to the residents of Seaford, they are not interested in listening to us. I hope that the names of those involved are soon published so that when the next election arrives we can vote out those power crazy hypocrites. BobbyVee
  • Score: 5

2:16pm Wed 29 Jan 14

ThinkBrighton says...

A bunch of nobodys thinking they have power!
A little power in the wrong hands can have unbelievable outcomes, but that's why they went into local politics, all local councils suffer from the blind leading the blind syndrome.
A bunch of nobodys thinking they have power! A little power in the wrong hands can have unbelievable outcomes, but that's why they went into local politics, all local councils suffer from the blind leading the blind syndrome. ThinkBrighton
  • Score: 2

4:09pm Wed 29 Jan 14

SGK2000 says...

It's been alledged that some members of the public were locked out as the public gallery was full. It's also been said that 25% of the public spaces were already filled, before the doors opened, by friends & relatives of some cllrs who had been led up the back stairs.
Further claims were that doors were locked, a H&S issue. is it also true that the Town Clerk had an increase in salary approved, taking it from roughly £30kpa to nearly £60k?
It's been alledged that some members of the public were locked out as the public gallery was full. It's also been said that 25% of the public spaces were already filled, before the doors opened, by friends & relatives of some cllrs who had been led up the back stairs. Further claims were that doors were locked, a H&S issue. is it also true that the Town Clerk had an increase in salary approved, taking it from roughly £30kpa to nearly £60k? SGK2000
  • Score: 3

11:11pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Ambo Guy says...

BobbyVee wrote:
The way OUR mayor was treated in public on Monday night was an absolute disgrace. I was there and felt ashamed of the behaviour of the councillors I voted for.
Even though there was a difference of legal opinion, there was after all a recorded vote to accept the mayor’s resignation or reject it: THEY COULD HAVE CHOSEN FOR HIM TO REMAIN as the public were demanding.
However, it appeared that the majority couldn’t wait to place their vote to throw this good man out.
Had they had ANY intention of listening to the electorate that was their chance to demonstrate it. Instead they sent out a very clear message to the residents of Seaford, they are not interested in listening to us.
I hope that the names of those involved are soon published so that when the next election arrives we can vote out those power crazy hypocrites.
YOUR Mayor is a complete idiot. He threw his toys out of his pram and handed in his resignation just because he wasn't getting his way. Now he's changed his mind and wants to come back.

Farcical.
[quote][p][bold]BobbyVee[/bold] wrote: The way OUR mayor was treated in public on Monday night was an absolute disgrace. I was there and felt ashamed of the behaviour of the councillors I voted for. Even though there was a difference of legal opinion, there was after all a recorded vote to accept the mayor’s resignation or reject it: THEY COULD HAVE CHOSEN FOR HIM TO REMAIN as the public were demanding. However, it appeared that the majority couldn’t wait to place their vote to throw this good man out. Had they had ANY intention of listening to the electorate that was their chance to demonstrate it. Instead they sent out a very clear message to the residents of Seaford, they are not interested in listening to us. I hope that the names of those involved are soon published so that when the next election arrives we can vote out those power crazy hypocrites.[/p][/quote]YOUR Mayor is a complete idiot. He threw his toys out of his pram and handed in his resignation just because he wasn't getting his way. Now he's changed his mind and wants to come back. Farcical. Ambo Guy
  • Score: 0

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