Two councillors and clerk quit Cliffsend Parish Council

Cliffsend Parish Council

Two councillors and the clerk have resigned from Cliffsend Parish Council, with one citing issues with the chairperson as a reason for stepping down.

Councillors Suzanne Chapman and John Hellyer and clerk Anne Griffths have quit the grass roots council with Ms Griffiths leaving on September 25.

Mr Hellyer still remains listed on the parish council website although Miss Chapman has been removed. The resignations have not yet been confirmed with the district council.

Miss Chapman is understood to have been frustrated with ‘too much bureaucracy’ and the inability to get items put on parish council agendas for discussion.

Mr Hellyer says he resigned with ‘great reluctance’ but added: “I can no longer work with our chairperson, “  because “his rudeness, aggressive actions towards myself and members of the public are in my opinion not suitable for a Chair of a parish council.“

Mr Hellyer added that a request for a councillor meeting to clear up issues resulted in chairman Peter Cable lodging an allegation of bullying,

It is understood a standards complaint of bringing the parish council into disrepute was also lodged against Cllr Cable by a resident but was recommended for no further action by Thanet council because “the person complained of was not acting in an official capacity at the time of some of the alleged incidents and there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the complaints.”

The decision notice says issues raised around electoral fraud were outside of the committee’s remit and should be taken up with the police and Electoral Commission.

The vacancies will mean either new members must be elected via a by-election or co-opted on to the grass roots authority.

Following the resignations the parish council needs to notify the Returning Officer of the vacancies – in this case Thanet council chief executive Madeline Homer.

She then sends a notice to the parish which they have a duty to display for 14 days, informing residents of the vacancy.

An election will be called if ten residents, who are registered to vote in the area where the vacancy has arisen, write to the Returning Officer requesting it.

If an election isn’t called the vacancy may be filled by co-option.

A request for comment has been sent to Cliffsend Parish Council and to the chairman.


  1. That’s great isn’t it – the alleged bully remains in post. Why has no proper investigation been established? Being a Parish councillor is still part of local democracy and to have the TDC standards committee effectively brush it under the carpet has clearly not resolved the issue.

    • You’ve said it. The “alleged” bully remains in post because he is an “alleged” bully.
      If people were removed from post, or put on gardening leave, or suspended every time there was an allegation, the country would be in an even worse state than it is.

  2. Regretfully this appears to be quite common not only in this but other town and parish councils. I am aware of a further former councillor resigning from Cliffsend Parish Council in the past for similar reasons. One wonders what the real benefits are in having a Town or Parish Council if they are going to be run a dictator.

  3. interesting that residents are required to be registered to vote yet Peter Cable was not on the electoral register at the time of his election to chairperson and could not have been as he lived in Folkestone! “An election will be called if ten residents, who are registered to vote in the area where the vacancy has arisen, write to the Returning Officer requesting it.”

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