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Newchurch-in-Pendle parish chairman quits in mill plans row
A PARISH council chairman has claimed he was forced to resign after a ‘vicious and personal’ campaign against him by villagers and fellow councillors.
Bill Mayor, who served on Goldshaw Booth Parish Council for more than a decade, said some residents in Newchurch-in-Pendle and Spenbrook were ‘baying for his blood’ after a difference of opinion about the future of a historic mill.
Another councillor, Bob Robbins, has also quit in support of Mr Mayor.
The pair made their decision after a heated meeting last week regarding a planning application for Spenbrook Mill, in Spenbrook Road.
Developer Ingham and Keers was refused permission to convert the former carpet factory into 30 houses by Pendle Council earlier this year, while the Planning Inspectorate rejected an appeal last month.
The plans have been re-submitted to accomodate fewer homes and the parish council disagreement came about after it was asked to submit its views on the fresh proposals.
Mr Mayor, who is in favour of redeveloping the mill, said some councillors had implied he was set to benefit financially from such a redevelopment, something he denies.
He said: “It is very sad when a few people, with irrationality and personal insult, choose to oppose the wishes of the majority. I cannot understand, and I cannot work with, such people.
“I would certainly question their competence to serve as councillors when they allow personal misgivings to overule their wider responsibilities.”
Mr Mayor said the parish council voted against supporting the development at last Tuesday’s meeting, overturning a previous vote in favour of the scheme.
Borough councillor James Starkie, who attended the meeting as an observer, said Mr Mayor’s claims that he subject to personal abuse were ‘totally incorrect’.
Coun Starkie, for Higham and Pendleside, said: “At no point did anybody ask for his resignation. He’s brought it all on himself. He tried to overule the parish council and certain members wouldn’t let that happen.”
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