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‘The staff don’t deserve what is happening’ - second town councillor resigns

PUBLISHED: 11:03 10 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:03 10 June 2020

Neil Espin has resigned from Sheringham Town Council. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Neil Espin has resigned from Sheringham Town Council. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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A town councillor resigned after being left in a position where he had “nowhere left to go”.

Neil Espin has resigned from Sheringham Town Council. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELLNeil Espin has resigned from Sheringham Town Council. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham town councillor Neil Espin stepped down last Thursday on the same evening as fellow councillor Jon Payne. Mr Espin was chairing a council committee meeting which Mr Payne also attended.

As reported, Mr Payne resigned following a disagreement between Sheringham Community Support (SCS) and Mutual Aid Sheringham (MASh), which was set up by members of the community to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Espin did not wish to say why he resigned, but he added: “The staff of the council in the office and guys who run the community centre are absolutely superb. My responsibility was to look after them.

“I know what is happening in the town and I don’t like it, but that’s not the main reason. I was put in a position where I’d got nowhere left to go. I think it’s right to step away, although it’s very painful to do so.

Jon Payne has resigned from Sheringham Town Council. Picture: Jon PayneJon Payne has resigned from Sheringham Town Council. Picture: Jon Payne

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“I joined the council because I love the town. I came in 18 months ago after running my own business for more than 25 years and working with some of the biggest companies in the world. The staff don’t deserve what is happening and I miss them dreadfully.”

In a statement, Sheringham Town Council thanked Mr Espin for “his valued contributions during his appointment as town councillor and chairman of the employment committee”.

The town council will meet on Tuesday evening to discuss the resignations and an agenda will be published shortly.

In his letter, Mr Payne, who had been on the town council since last summer, said: “The recent disagreement has been really nasty, with both sides making accusations against each other, but it has also highlighted a number of problems in the way that the council operates.”

The row between the groups erupted when the founders of MASh claimed that the town’s deputy mayor, Liz Withington replaced a volunteer without informing her.

However, SCS said the issue had been a misunderstanding and that the person in question remained a volunteer.


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