New chair elected at Boston Spa council after it ‘split in half’

Boston Spa village hall.
Boston Spa village hall.

A new chair has been elected at Boston Spa parish council, after the former incumbent stood down from his post.

Coun Robert Wivell announced last month that he would stand down and, after 13 years on the council, would not be running again in the May 2015 election.

This news came at the same time as the four newest members of the parish council told the clerk ahead of the monthly meeting they would resign effective immediately.

According to former Coun Tim Baker there had been a difference of opinion that had ‘split the council in half’.

This week Coun Wivell’s unofficial vice chair, Terry Gaussen, who joined the council in 2007, was elected council chair.

He said: “I have been on the council for some time and I was below the chair in official terms, acting as vice chair.

“My colleagues felt they would be happy if I continued to take on the role of chair for the next stretch.

“All parish councils are getting more and more work to do because of changes in local government legislation, so there is a lot more to do and there are some major things to be dealt with at the moment.”

Coun Gaussen said the burning down of the changing rooms on Stables Lane needed to be addressed, as well as future work on the riverside, including the hydro project.

He added: “I am looking hopefully to existing members to continue and others to join for the council to be refreshed and to get on with life.”

On Coun Wivell’s decision to stand down, Coun Gaussen said he did not resigned because of anything to do with the recent resignations he would finish come the May elections anyway because of pressures of other commitments.

A statement was read out at the January monthly meeting of the council to this effect.

Read out by the clerk, it also concerned the resignations in winter 2014.

It said: “Four members of the council wrote to the chair in November noting concerns critical of the work of a councillor and asking that these be placed on the public record.

“Whilst the criticisms were then withdrawn the four councillors chose to resign.

“This is of very considerable regret to all concerned and necessarily affects the continuing work of the Council in the short term.”