‘Our own private Brexit’: Bembridge parishioners vote ‘no confidence’

Parishioners voted “no confidence” in several parish councillors at meeting in Bembridge on Wednesday (September 5).

The meeting was chaired by Sir Paul Kenny, former general secretary of the GMB Union and saw a turnout of over 150 people.

The aim of the 7pm gathering was to air public concerns about the actions of Bembridge Parish Council.

Four agenda items were established; the sale of 5/7 High Street, parish finances, transparency and openness of the parish council and respect for the democratic process.

The vote of no confidence

Bembridge resident Joe Curry said: “I have heard both sides of the argument. This has become a bitter pointless tirade, it’s like we have our own private Brexit.

“What I suggest is that this council resigns, beginning with it’s chairman and that we have a general election for fewer councillors.

“Unless the lot go, and we have a new smaller, efficient council – it will go on like this for a very long while.”

A vote of no confidence in Councillors Keith Fagan, Margaret Donlon, Marianne Sullivan, Ray Widger, Sheila Weedall and Grant Stillman was called by resident Chris King and passed 140 to 7 with 7 abstentions.

Hugh Boynton, resident and business owner said he had been to every council for the past two years since the issue began and called the whole meeting “pointless”.

Mr Boynton said: “I totally 100% support the integrity of the parish clerk and her assistant. I would actually like to put on record that I support the democratic path this council have taken.

“Nothing you do is binding, nothing you say will actually count. Tomorrow will be no different in the parish office. Everything will carry on as normal.”

The overwhelming tone of the meeting except for Mr Boynton’s remarks were that the parish council needed to be more transparent with their business case for selling 5/7 High Street – most people present did not want the council asset sold.

None of the councillors that were named in the no confidence vote came to the parishioners meeting.

Bembridge Parish Council have been contacted for comment.