TWO councillors tonight (Tuesday, February 25) resigned from Yarm Town Council after a series of disputes with its chairman and fellow councillors.
Jason Hadlow and Chris Johnson, both Conservative councillors, said it was with “sadness” and regret they decided to step down.
They wrote separate letters to chairman Peter Monck outlining their reasons for resignation.
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The town council has been divided by infighting and disputes for several years, which came to a head in recent months.
The Northern Echo learnt earlier today that police had examined a case of alleged hacking of the town council’s email account.
However, this is completely unconnected to the councillors’ resignations.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Concerns were raised regarding access to an email account. These concerns were looked into and no offences had been committed.”
In their resignations letters, Councillors Johnson and Hadlow accused the town council of holding “illegal meetings”, leaking private data.
They also objected to Coun Hadlow being banned from speaking at a recent meeting.
Coun Johnson said he had been angered by Coun Monck claiming recently that Yarm Town Council was in favour of pay and display parking in the town – when he says the majority of the councillors were against it.
But Coun Monck said: “What I said was that the council was in favour of Stockton council’s investment in Yarm High Street, not in favour of pay and display parking. The council has not changed its position on being opposed to pay and display.”
He insisted no meetings have been held illegally and all were properly advertised. He also denied that any private information had been leaked.
While Coun Hadlow was chairman in 2012, the council lost nearly £40,000 in a costly judicial review against pay and display parking – and recently councillors have been looking at how the costs can be recovered.
Coun Hadlow told The Northern Echo: “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I am forced to resign from a council that I served for six years, both as Chair and Mayor.”