Shock resignations at Seaton Town Council
PUBLISHED: 10:03 30 December 2011
Long serving Jim Knight calls it a day - and Steph Jones also gives up her seat
TWO of Seaton’s best known town councillors – Jim Knight and Steph Jones - have resigned.
Mr Knight - who served on the authority for some 21 years – has stood down because he says colleagues were not working together for the benefit of the town, especially on plans to safeguard the St Clare’s centre.
He will continue to serve as the resort’s county and district councillor.
Steph Jones has quit because she says she can no longer devote the job the time it deserves
But she will continue as a district councillor, serving on the East Devon authority as a cabinet member and Seaton Champion.
Detailing his reasons for leaving Mr Knight told The Herald:
“I have held a seat on Seaton Town Council from May 1991 I have been one of its most popular and longest serving members.
“I felt I had to resign after finding councillors were failing to work together for the benefit of Seaton, it wasn’t an easy decision but I felt the town must come first.
“I will remain fighting to secure the future of the town in my role as district and county councillor. I felt my hands were somewhat tied as a town councillor because I wanted the best for Seaton and its people. If I cannot achieve what I wanted to achieve when I started then I’m letting the people of the town down.
“It’s about getting the best for Seaton. The council decided to go forward with plans for St Clare’s Adult Education Centre and provide facilities for the youth and at the same time have a facility that the whole town could use and be proud of.
“And as far as I can see a senior member of the town council is going around saying they don’t want to take it on. They would rather see it knocked down and used for housing.
“I’m very close to it as a county and district councillor and feel I must go and champion the purchase of the property for the benefit of the town and its people and the only way to do this it seems is from the outside as a county councillor as I do not have to declare an interest to the town council as a county and district councillor.
“My hands were tied because some said I have a vested interest in St Clare’s which is true as I have put many hours into St. Clare’s and finding it to be a very valuable asset for the town and its people, I monitored it use and got the help of a Devon County Officer to put my case to Devon County Council that this facility should be handed over as an asset to the town council but due to the financial situation the county was faced with it had to get the best value for its assets where-ever they may be.
“Seaton’s future could be very, very bright but this can only happen if we are all working together as a unit as this will achieve so much more once this is achieved then your next project will come to fruition rather than trying to get several projects in one go.
“I wish the town all the best for the future.”
Mrs Jones told The Herald she had stood down because she found her work at the district council was now taking up most of her time.
She said: “When I stood for the town council in May I didn’t expect to be given the job I was given on the district council and, in all due fairness, I need to concentrate on that – it might also give someone the opportunity to now become a town councillor who can devote more time to the role.
“That was my only reason for going. I just felt it was not fair if I could not put the time in the job deserves.”
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