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Ash Parish Councillor Resigns Because of Work Time Pressure

Published on: 11 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2021

Former parish councillor Ed Schofield

By Martin Giles and David Reading

An Ash parish councillor has resigned because his work time commitments were not allowing him to do the job “as it should be done”.

Ed Schofield was one of four councillors representing Ash Wharf ward on the council. He is believed to work in the IT and marketing sector.

Asked about his resignation, Mr Schofield told The Dragon: “The reason is simple. I just don’t have enough time to fulfil my role as it should be done and I feel I should step down to allow someone else to do the job.

“My main purpose as a councillor has been to help the community rather than to follow any political agenda and because I have many business commitments, which take up a lot of my time, it’s best that someone else has the chance to take over.”

But the resignation has not been straightforward. Council Chairman Nigel Manning refused to acknowledge it at Monday’s (November 8) parish council meeting.

The SAsh Parish Council website has yet (as at Nov 11, 2021) to remove Ed Schofield from the page which shows its councillors.

Carla Morson, an Independent (although Lib Dem as a county councillor for Ash) and the only non-Conservative at Ash Parish Council, said: “I received an email sent to all Ash parish councillors from fellow councillor Ed Schofield.

“He explained that he had decided he had to resign as he did not, due to work and other commitments, have sufficient time to carry out his councillor duties. It was an upfront email and, in my view, he did the right thing if he felt he had insufficient time to carry out his role properly.

“So when at the parish council meeting on Monday (November 8) his apologies were given I asked why, given that he had resigned.

“Pointing me towards legislation, Council Leader Nigel Manning said that he was in discussions with Ed and later in the meeting, said he had not actually received the email due to IT communication problems so the resignation had not been accepted or was not effective.

“It appeared as though Cllr Manning was reluctant to accept Ed Schofield’s resignation, which could of course lead to the possibility of a by-election. Our community needs and deserves  councillors who do have the time to serve their residents and the sooner this is dealt with the better.”

Once the resignation is accepted the normal procedure will be for a vacancy to be announced. If ten or more local government electors in the local authority area request a by-election one will be held, if not the council may co-opt a councillor.

In September 2020 there was local disquiet when, following the resignation from the council by Paul Spooner over a disagreement with Nigel Manning, the exclusively Conservative council co-opted a fellow Tory in preference to Carla Morson, who stood as an Independent. She was eventually elected in a by-election resulting from the resignation from the parish council of Spooner ally Graham Eyre.

See also: Ash Residents Angry After Tory Parish Council Co-Opts Political Ally

Cllr Manning was invited to comment on Ed Schofield’s resignation but declined, saying he is continuing to refuse to answer questions from The Dragon, claiming that his comments, in the past, have “not been fully or fairly reported”.

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test One Response to Ash Parish Councillor Resigns Because of Work Time Pressure

  1. Julie Hoad Reply

    November 23, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Seems like Cllr Manning has finally got the resignation email.

    https://www.ashpcsurrey.gov.uk/notice-of-vacancy-in-office-of-parish-councillor/

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