Polegate town councillor resigns

Joseph O'Riordan
Joseph O'Riordan

A Polegate councillor has resigned from the town council after claiming he is ‘fed up’ with in-fighting by members who are ‘not working for the good of the town.’

Former Cllr Joe O’Riordan stepped down from his post on Wednesday (July 10). He joined the council as a Polegate Residents’ Association member two years ago.

The Polegate North councillor heavily criticised Polegate Town Council, claiming he had stepped down because he felt it had become ‘disjointed.’

In a statement to the Express, Mr O’Riordan said: “I did not enter local politics for any form of self-gratification, I did so because I grew to love Polegate and felt I would like to give something back to the town and its residents by serving as a town councillor.

“Initially it became an enjoyable part of my life of which I was proud, being fortunate in having the time to devote to it, but I came to realise that all was not what it seemed, the failure of PTC to work together as a team for the benefit of Polegate was of great concern to me.

“I believed the 15 elected councillors would work together for the good of Polegate but how naive I was. I have never, in thirty years of having chaired or sat on various committee’s (at national, regional and local levels) had the misfortune to sit on such a disjointed committee (Polegate Town Council). I do not lay the blame on all councillors. The in-fighting of the different groups is at times bewildering in that any benefits to Polegate from the matter under discussion is sidelined by the determination of some councillors not to allow the “other side” to take any credit irrespective of the good which may emerge for the town or its residents.”

Leader of the Lib Dems on the town council, Chris Berry said Mr O’Riordan’s resignation came as a complete surprise. She said: “We weren’t aware there was a problem and the first we knew was an email from the town clerk saying he had resigned. Like all councils, we have our ups and downs but Polegate Town Council works very well.”

Cllr Jill Voyce, who heads up the members of Polegate Residents’ Association on the council, said: “It is his personal opinion, it was a personal decision to resign and it’s a shame because he was a good councillor. We are sorry he took that decision.”