A PARISH council has almost halved in size after the chairman, two councillors and the clerk resigned within weeks.

Joe France and Laraine Grigg stood down as independent councillors for Trimdon Foundry Parish Council at a meeting on Tuesday, August 12.

Parish clerk Kay Tweddle handed in her notice at the same meeting, with long-serving councillor Jim Grigg, also independent, resigning as both chairman and councillor on Wednesday, August 27.

Their resignations leave Trimdon Foundry Parish Council, which is responsible for Trimdon Station, Deaf Hill and part of Trimdon Colliery, with four councillors, Councillor Margaret Eadsforth, Councillor Brian Ferguson, Councillor Gary Elliott and Councillor Elizabeth Elliott, all Labour, remaining.

The minutes of August 12 meeting in which the issues leading to the resignations are believed to have been discussed are not yet available but should be present at a council meeting next week.

In a statement posted online, Mr Grigg does not go into detail about his reasons for resigning but assures residents he, Mrs Grigg and Mr France will continue to work for the good of the community as members of Deaf Hill Regeneration Partnership and Trimdon Station Community Centre.

He also praised Ms Tweddle for her “professional manner,” adding: “I was totally ashamed that not one of the remaining councillors thanked Ms Tweddle for the years of excellent service and dedication she has shown while working for Trimdon Foundry Parish Council.”

When contacted by The Northern Echo, Mr and Mrs Grigg did not expand on this statement but Mr Grigg reiterated their ongoing commitment to the people of Trimdon.

Mr France and Ms Tweddle were unavailable for comment.

Cllr Eadsforth, acting chairman of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council, said John Irvine, clerk of Fishburn Parish Council, would serve as acting clerk for the parish until the vacancy was filled.

She said notices for the paid clerk’s position and the councillor vacancies would be advertised shortly, adding: “We have set up personnel, health and finance committees and are working together to put things in place to help make the community a better place to live.

“The only thing I am concerned about is the parish and helping local residents.”

The next meeting of Trimdon Foundry Parish Council takes place at Community House in May Crescent, Trimdon Station, at 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 9.