'A new era, and a new beginning for Honiton Town Council'

Honiton Beehive car park

Honiton Town Council, the scene of dramatic resignations earlier this month - Credit: Tim Dixon

At last week’s Honiton Town Council meeting, following a vote on the council budget for the new year, six serving councillors stood up and abruptly left the meeting. It was then made apparent, following the meeting, that these councillors had tendered their immediate resignation from the Town Council. The council is now left with 11 members, of whom 10 joined the council within the last eight months.

The resignations mark a tectonic shift within the leadership of the council, with both the roles of Chair and Vice Chair of the Council now vacant. These roles are to be filled at another Council meeting happening on Monday 17th January, which at the time of writing has not yet taken place. However, in any eventuality, we can expect to see a complete change of leadership style – with a renewed and much-needed focus on transparency, integrity, and community leadership.

As a relatively new Town Councillor myself, I am very excited for the road ahead. We are able to finally push forward with our own individual projects and agendas to the fullest degree – projects which you elected us on, and that we have already started. I am particularly looking forward to the shift in culture back to a thriving, 'can-do' council, one which we can be proud to represent.

Personally, I will continue to work hard on reconnecting the council with the community, working on a community strategy which will take your ideas and focuses and turn them into future projects for the Council. I will also work alongside both my Town and District Council colleagues in forging a better relationship between the two councils, helping to bring the councils together over shared issues such as looking after our open spaces and protecting our much-needed public toilets.

Over the next year, there is a lot of work to be done at the council. Not least is there a backlog of visible projects that need completing – both old and new – but we also have the tough job of rebuilding the council’s reputation which has been so badly mired and lost through numerous Code of Conduct complaints and legal issues.

Let’s move forward with dignity and respect, and with the community at heart. After all, a new dawn has broken, has it not?