Former mayors step down from town council after combined 20 years
PUBLISHED: 10:49 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 13 August 2019
After a combined 20 years of service, two former Budleigh Salterton mayors have stepped down from the town council.
Alan Dent, who has sat on the council for eight years, and Tom Wright who has served for 12, sat in their last town council meeting on Monday (August 12).
Both will continue as district ward councillors alongside Cllr Paul Jarvis.
Current mayor Caz Sismore-Hunt presented both with a certificate of appreciation at the meeting.
In a joint letter to Cllr Sismore-Hunt, deputy mayor Mike Hilliar and town clerk Jo Vanstone, they cited the ward boundary extension for the reason why they are standing down.
The letter said: "The district ward boundaries have expanded considerably meaning the district councillors now have the communities of Budleigh, East Budleigh, Otterton and Colaton Raleigh to look after.
"There are some occasions when the parish and town council meetings coincide and both Tom Wright and Alan Dent feel they should be able to give all these local councils equal focus and attention.
"Both Tom and Alan believe that it would be in the best interests of both Budleigh Salterton Town Council and themselves to stand down and town councillors at an early stage of this civic term."
The resignations will mean the make-up of the town council will continue to look different from just three months ago.
Former mayors Chris Kitson and Courtney Richards decided not to stand for re-election this year, as did Tony Gooding, while Steve Hall was a candidate for election in Exmouth.
Neither Cllr Dent or Cllr Wright will stand for re-election in the district council elections in 2022.
Cllr Dent is currently the chairman of the district council scrutiny committee and Cllr Wright is a lead councillor for community safety.
The letter said: "The proposed timing will mean that by May 2022 Budleigh Salterton Town Council will have an experienced team which could well encourage some of the newer members to stand.
"Both Tom and Alan have thoroughly enjoyed serving on the town council.
"We thank you for your support over the last eight and 12 years and as Budleigh residents the town and its people will always be close to our hearts."