Tension and 'ongoing atmosphere' leads to Ottery deputy mayor's resignation
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 December 2018
Ongoing tensions surrounding the town’s hospital has led to the resignation of Ottery’s deputy mayor.
Josefina Gori resigned with immediate effect on Wednesday, saying the atmosphere within the council had become ‘uncomfortable’.
The chairman of the regeneration project was one of four councillors called to be suspended by resident Ian Dowler due to her decision to abstain from a vote to set up a hospital working group.
The north ward member defended her action at an extraordinary meeting on November 29 by saying she would never vote for something that did not comply with council requirements.
Mrs Gori, who was elected in 2015, said she promised to do her job with honesty, integrity, total transparency and impartiality.
She added: “I became a councillor because I believed I had a debt of gratitude to the people of Ottery that had welcomed me to this town.
“I also made the commitment of working hard for what this town needed and the residents requested. I believe I have kept my promise.”
During her time on the council, Mrs Gori helped to organise the late night shopping, hill climb and brought the Tour of Britain to Ottery twice.
She said: “I am not a politician and I never will be. I simply wanted to concentrate on the job I have always enjoyed.
“Unfortunately with the imminent local elections next May, some members of the Ottery St Mary Town Council, whose political aims seem to be more important than their service to the community, have created an uncomfortable atmosphere amongst those who want to concentrate on the job they were elected to do.
“I believe that the only way I could properly represent those who had put their trust in me was by keeping my promise of honesty and integrity. If now I am not allowed to do it, because of the personal interest of some of my colleagues, then what is the use for me of being a councillor.
“I would like to thank those who have supported me at all times. I would never regret having been a councillor as it has given me the opportunity to learn a lot from those hard working, unselfish and dedicated councillors I was privileged to work with.
No election will be held to replace Mrs Gori due to the upcoming local elections in May. A new deputy mayor will be elected in due course.