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Sawbridgeworth town councillor David Royle quits as 'time would be better spent' supporting community groups



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One of the town council’s three remaining independent councillors has quit saying his time will be better spent supporting the community groups to which he belongs.

David Royle has been a member of the town council for eight years and was among seven independent candidates elected in 2019, meaning the Conservatives lost their position as the biggest party on the 12-seat council.

But following four by-elections control has swung back to the Conservatives as they now have eight councillors. Mayor Greg Rattey and Cllr Craig Chester are the last remaining independents with Cllr Annelise Furnace representing the Liberal Democrats.

David Royle on land off West Road earmarked for development. Pic: Vikki Lince. (58322864)
David Royle on land off West Road earmarked for development. Pic: Vikki Lince. (58322864)

In his letter of resignation to town clerk Chris Hunt after Monday’s meeting of the full council David said he had already decided he would not stand at the next election in May 2023 and added: “I think my time will be spent more effectively supporting the community groups I belong to, especially Sustainable Sawbridgeworth and the Bishop’s Stortford Climate Group, given the urgency of tackling climate change properly.”

David is also chairman of Sawbridgeworth Local History Society and has led from the front in welcoming Ukrainian refugees to the town helping to set up a Facebook support group.

He told the Indie he had become frustrated that town council meetings were inconsequential.

David Royle, second from right, with Sawbridgeworth Local History Society colleagues, from left, Hazel Mead, Theo van de Bilt and Gill Munro. (58346688)
David Royle, second from right, with Sawbridgeworth Local History Society colleagues, from left, Hazel Mead, Theo van de Bilt and Gill Munro. (58346688)

“I felt we weren’t really challenging enough - things were being allowed to slip,” he said. He was also critical of the district and county councils saying he had lots of issues with them, in particular the strategy towards climate change.

David added after tendering his resignation he already felt “refreshed and reinvigorated”.

A by-election will be called following David's resignation if 10 local government electors request it in writing.



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