Saturday, 18 September 2021
A HENLEY town councillor has quit after two and a half years saying he no longer enjoys the job.
Conservative Simon Smith, who was elected on to the council in May 2015, resigned on Friday night via email.
It means the political make-up of the council is now eight Henley Residents’ Group members, six Conservatives and one Independent Conservative member.
In a statement Mr Smith said he made the decision with 'some regret' adding: "The reason is quite simply that in my opinion being a town councillor is a job – albeit a second one - that you should do to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, if you do not enjoy your job you cannot do that.
“Over the past few weeks I have found that I no longer enjoy that job and therefore I felt I could not do it to the best of my ability and serve the electorate in the way they deserve.
“The reasons for this are varied but basically, I feel the town council is being unbalanced by certain councillors who have forgotten what being a town councillor is all about, i.e. doing what is best for the town and its residents, rather than just making political gain.
“If I had felt I could remain a councillor doing the one area I really enjoyed, which was being on the planning committee, the only non-political committee of them all, I would have, but that would not have been an option as official council politics would not allow that.”
Mr Smith added: "Over the years I have really enjoyed and cherished my position as a councillor of this wonderful town and in particular the Henley in Bloom and planning committee.
“I would like say thank you to all those that have made it enjoyable, yet challenging, and also thank you to all the residents that put their faith in me and voted for me.”
It is not yet clear whether his resignation will trigger a by-election.
Town clerk Janet Wheeler explained: “We have to advertise the vacant position and if 10 residents in the ward that Simon lives, which is the north ward, if they request an election we will hold one but only if we get more than one name for the seat.”
Councillor Julian Brookes, leader of the Conservatives on the town council, said: “I’m very sorry to see Simon resign, I think it’s a very personal choice to do so.
“I think we have to just press on. These setbacks are as in any walk of life – when you least expect them. I did not expect Simon’s resignation.”
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