Ex-Neighbourhood Development Plan chairman Emma Winfield has resigned from the council, amid ongoing infighting.
She was co-opted to the council in September 2016 and became an active member, joining several committees. In March 2017 she volunteered to head the NDP and initiated two design and vision forums under the guidance of independent consultants Feria Urbanism, which resulted in a comprehensive interim report to help formulate the key plan.
In January, Mrs Winfield decided to stand down as interim chairman of its steering committee, praising other group members for their passionate and hard-working commitment.
At the time, she said: “It has been fantastic to chat to residents and businesses about what they would like the future of the neighbourhood area to look like.
“I feel I have achieved what I set out to do and now is the right time to hand the chairmanship back to the community for the next phase of the project.”
Until last month, she remained a member of the steering group, representing the parish council, which was then taken over by Jackie Poole.
Following an NDP meeting in January, a code of conduct complaint was raised against Mrs Winfield, Jeanette Kirby and Jane Ives, by Don Jerrard which was duly dismissed by East Hampshire District Council.
The council confirmed its decision in writing stating his complaint was not being reinvestigated and the decision already made cannot be reversed.
Acting parish council chairman Jeanette Kirby, told The Herald: “Emma Winfield was an enthusiastic and passionate member of this parish council.
“In her relatively short term of office she achieved a considerable amount on behalf of the council and the community.
“In her role as chair of the Neighbourhood Development Plan she was instrumental in building a strong, cohesive steering group.
“She was passionate about representing the views of all sections of the community and in particular the needs and views of children and families – the future generations of this parish.
“On behalf of the council Emma led a highly successful event and design forum for the NDP and this has encouraged many more residents in the community to become involved.
“Emma brought a refreshing outlook to this council and we hope this will encourage more like-minded people to step forward. We wish her well for the future.”
Eve Hope, a former district councillor and parish council chairman, described the double resignation as ‘history repeating itself,’ after she and three other councillors staged a mass resignation in 2012.
She told The Herald: “There are a small number of councillors who were and still are not able to work with others and want to pursue their own agendas, causing disruption.”
The council now has two casual vacancies to fill.
Ten members of the public have to call for an election by Friday, August 31, otherwise both places will be filled by co-option.
Write to monitoring officer, EHDC, Penns Place, Petersfield GU31 4EX