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Hereford Times | Posted 15th June 2017

 
Madley left without parish council after mass resignation.

A VILLAGE has been left without a parish council after all of its councillors and the clerk resigned.

At a meeting of Madley Parish Council last week, councillors announced that they were all handing in their resignations.

This means that ward councillors from Herefordshire Council need to temporarily perform the parish council duties, until an official parish election can take place to fill the vacancies.

Pat Corcoran, one of the parish councillors who has resigned, said: “There were some parishioners who really didn’t understand what the parish council was for.

“We were getting a series of more and more vitriolic emails and when we got the last one, last Tuesday, we just rang around in the morning and everybody said they had had enough.

“They didn’t want to do it anymore.”

In March of this year an application for a gas powered energy reserve in Stone Street, Madley was withdrawn.

The application had received a lot of objection from parishioners and Madley Parish Council also objected to the plans.

The land on which STOR 112 Ltd wanted to build the reserve belonged to the Burman family, who had representatives on the parish council.

Madley resident, Dave Williamson, said he believed councillors resigned because they found out that the landowner had offered £13,000 to a new resident to the village to make available access of his garden, so the access could be improved and the gas energy station plan could be re-submitted.

He said: “To his credit the inducement was refused obviously not wanting to become neighbour to a 20MW power station at any price.”

But Mr Corcoran said the parish councillor was perfectly entitled to make an offer to one of the landowners to get an access strip and he is also entitled to submit a planning application.

As a parish council they are able to send a letter of support, objection or make no comment on planning applications and Mr Corcoran said when the first plan was submitted and discussed at a parish council meeting, the landowner and parish councillor declared an interest and left the room. He did not take part in any of the discussions.

Mr Corcoran said the parish council has very limited powers and only deals with fairly parochial items. He said: “We are volunteers. Several people had the wrong end of the stick about what we are able to do. We are not Herefordshire Council, we are not the planning authority, we are not Balfour Beatty, we are not the Highways Authority.

“We can only write to people and ask them to do things. We were getting personal abuse, including the clerk.”

He said the objection from the parish council is seen as one single letter and holds the same weight as a letter from anyone and the final decision is down to the county council planning authority.

 

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