South Mimms parish councillors all resign citing ‘personal attacks’

PUBLISHED: 12:58 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 04 August 2020

South Mymms Parish Council meetings take place in the village hall. Picture: Google Street View.

South Mymms Parish Council meetings take place in the village hall. Picture: Google Street View.

Archant

All four of South Mimms’ parish councillors have resigned in a letter, today, citing “personal attacks” from the public.

The news follows mass resignations by councillors and staff at Northaw and Cuffley Parish Council last year – which also cited abuse during their voluntary job – and Welwyn Parish Council’s appeal to the public to stop abusing councillors and clerks.

READ MORE: South Mimms parish councillor resigns

For all the South Mimms parish councillors – which includes chairman Yvonne Harverson, vice-chairman Paula Arnold, Cllr Mark Edwards and Cllr Neil Pumfrey – the abuse on social media and at meetings got to the point where they felt there was no choice but to resign.

In the letter to the clerk, Natalie Gettings, the four councillors added: “It has become increasingly clear that there are elements in the village who do not think that we are doing a good job of representing them and their views and who have a wholly negative view of the parish council.”

READ MORE: Chairman defends Welwyn Parish Council over recent criticisms and ‘verbal abuse’

There is already a vacancy at South Mimms Parish Council after Paul Binstead stepped down as a parish councillor in April – which triggered a by-election that has been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“We see that as a good opportunity to give others the chance to join the parish council and to implement some of the policies and actions that they feel we could have done a better job of pursuing and for South Mimms residents to have a broader say on who they would like to represent them.

“We believe that this the best way forward for the parish council and for the village that we all care about. We wish our successors the best of luck, and we trust that the support they receive from us will be a positive contrast to the support that we have been afforded by some others.”

READ MORE: Mass resignations leave Northaw and Cuffley Parish Council ‘unable to function’

The four councillors also cited their work over 14 years in successfully opposing development, such as widening the M25, a solar farm in the boundary of the village – but could not prevent a Swanland Road plan – and an unauthorised industrial site on St Albans Road.

They also worked hard on getting a defibrillator, providing a grant for the local school to extend, improving meadow land and securing funding for traffic calming equipment.

Ms Gettings confirmed to The Welwyn Hatfield Times that she is in receipt of the letter – after it was publish on social media – but it would not be appropriate to make a comment during this time.

Hertsmere Borough Council is now expected to make a call for more councillors via its electoral service.


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