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Councillor quits after four months
LYME Regis town councillor Jill Newton has quit after only four months.
Ms Newton, who was elected in April following the death of Barbara Austin MBE, said she did not regret her time on the council, and she was glad she ‘stepped up to the plate and had a go’.
In her resignation letter addressed to the Mayor, Ms Newton said: “Having given the role a reasonable probation period I have decided it is not a valuable use of my time, abilities or energies. I regret to say that I have never worked in an environment so lacking in trust and so full of suspicion – although most of the councillors have my deepest admiration and respect.
“I stood for councillor because I felt it was easy to carp from the sidelines but unjustified if one wasn’t prepared to do anything about it. I also stood because I was prepared to devote part of my time to doing something good for the town.
“The carping, I have come to realise is, to a certain extent, justified, and the things that are wrong with this council mean that the effort required to do even the smallest bit of good is out of all proportion to what one actually achieves.
“While I still have an interest in working for the good of the town I shall, in future, do it in more direct ways, unhampered by in-fighting and antagonism.”
Speaking to the Lyme Regis News, Ms Newton said: “I think it’s a shame when people who have particular experience in a certain area are stopped from helping by others who make it so difficult.
“I work better without protocols and limitations, and I think I can make a more effective difference to the town as a member of the public.”
In a statement from Lyme Regis Town Council, Mayor Coun Sally Holman said: “Coun Jill Newton’s resignation at this time is highly regrettable but I respect her reasons for deciding to step down.
“She has worked very hard and brought forward-looking ideas, especially to the tourism and economic development committee which she has chaired.
“The town council thanks her for her efforts in working for the good of the town, its residents and visitors.
“It will not be easy to find someone of her calibre as a replacement.”
Town clerk John Wright confirmed the vacancy would be filled via an election, if a request is submitted by 10 electors, or by co-option.
If an election is called it will take place no later than November 20.