Bembridge Parish Council say ‘bullying’ to blame for clerk resignation

Bembridge Parish Council have released a statement following the clerk’s resignation at a parish council meeting on Tuesday night (September 18).

Former clerk Emma Goldring told the meeting she was stepping down from her post in the middle of proceedings.

Mrs Goldring said: “This is not an Open Bembridge victory, it is a travesty for the genuine people of Bembridge.”

Her resignation comes in the wake of parishioners calling a meeting of their own on September 5 and passing an overwhelming vote of no confidence in the clerk and seven other councillors.

The meeting and vote followed a long running saga in which villagers and the parish council have disagreed over the sale of the council-owned 5/7 High Street.

The vote of no confidence

One villager previously described the enduring debate as Bembridge’s “own private Brexit”.

A spokesman for Bembridge Parish Council said: “This resignation is due to a continued and targeted campaign of bullying and harassment by certain councillors and their Open Bembridge supporters over a period of some 18 months.  

“This behaviour was unnecessary  and unwarranted as she was merely carrying out her duties in a professional manner by implementing the decisions of the Council.

“Mrs Goldring has behaved in an exemplary and professional way throughout this period which included nasty and vile personal comments both in person and on Social Media together with attempts to incite hatred.

“The awards that Bembridge Parish Council has won under the clerkship of Mrs Goldring are numerous and adorn the wall of the Parish Office. Under the Hampshire & IOW Village Of The Year awards, Mrs Goldring also won the award for Most Inspirational Individual not once, but twice, the only person ever to do so; this is a testament to her drive, commitment and professional approach to her work.”

Madeleine Reeder, a local resident, said after the meeting: “My only thoughts are that she has possibly got some integrity and taken note of the parish meeting’s vote of no confidence in herself and the majority of the council.”