Third of council seats now vacant as two more quit
NEARLY a third of Pembury Parish Council seats are now vacant following two more resignations this week.
Its chairman blamed the shortage on the time-consuming nature of the work.
The council has not had full membership since November and there have been no applications to join it since then.
This week it was hit by the departures of John Bullocke and Melanie Karpinski, leaving only nine councillors out of a maximum 13.
Chairman June Crowhurst said being a councillor was a tough obligation for some people.
"I think it's about commitment. There has always been a lot of movement in Pembury and people commute into London so they don't have a lot of time.
"We are looking for some enthusiasm, someone able to commit and always looking to the future."
The double resignation could leave the taxpayer with a bill of up to £4,000 if a by-election is called.
This would happen if ten voters wanted a poll to take place.
Mrs Crowhurst believed there would not be a demand for an election and, in this case, applicants would be interviewed by the council instead.
Departing councillor Mrs Karpinski said she took the decision to resign after three years to "give someone else a go".
"I had always said I would step away after three years. It has been very interesting because I have learned a lot about the village and what the council does," she said.
Mr Bullocke has been forced to quit after he was diagnosed with lung cancer in November.
He said: "I will always miss it. It's about helping the people and that is the most important thing."
Notices for the positions will be advertised around the village in the near future.