Fremington district councillor resigns

Joseph Bulmer

DISTRICT Councillor Joanne Bell has resigned from both North Devon and Fremington Parish councils due to ill health.

Mrs Bell was newly elected as an independent to the Fremington ward on May 5 after polling 969 votes, almost 600 more than the nearest Conservative candidate.

Her husband Jim told the Gazette today (Tuesday) she felt she was unable to do the job because of a long term illness.

“Since she felt she was unable to carry on it was only fair to let someone else have a go,” he said.

“The council has been very understanding and was sorry she felt she had to resign.”

Mr Bell, also a parish councillor, said he would continue to serve on the council.

The vacancy is now being advertised and there will be a district election in due course. As for the parish, if 10 electors do not request an election the council will seek to co-opt a new councillor.

Following earlier vacancies the parish council will be co-opting two new members at its meeting on Monday, July 11.

Former district councillor Dick Jones, who along with John Gill lost out to Mrs Bell and Frank Biederman at the election, said he intended to stand in the district by-election.

“I have not given up or abandoned the cause and despite the election result I am willing to offer the community the benefit of my experience should they wish to have me,” he said.

* Mrs Bell’s resignation follows on the heels of two others: Long standing councillor Sue Sewell has resigned from South Molton Town Council while Sue Sussex has stepped down from Combe Martin Parish Council.