Published: August 15, 2012
Burnham councillor quits as Chairman after Town Centre Manager row

A councillor in Burnham-On-Sea has resigned from his position as Chairman of an influential Town Council committee following a stormy debate on the future of the Town Centre Manager role.

Cllr Chris Williams, pictured, has quit his role as Chairman of the council's Policy and Finance Committee following the debate, which we first reported here.

Last week, also reported here how the leader of Burnham's Town Team had also resigned following the meeting.

Chris explained: "After the meeting of the Town Council it is quite obvious that I no longer have the support of the Council as Chair of Policy and Finance. I therefore resign from that post and from the Policy and Finance Committee itself."

"I had hoped that it would have been quite clear to every member of Council that for a Chair of a Committee to ask for a recorded vote and to speak and vote against a recommendation from that Committee was extremely unusual. This point obviously did not come across."

"I raised three objections to granting BIARS £3,500 for each of three years to assist in funding a Town Centre Manager."

He explained that when BIARS (Burnham Information And Rescue Support) - the group that runs the town's tourist information centre - was formed the council was assured that it would not make any claim on public funds from the Town Council.

He added: "They intended to pay a salary of £10,000 per year for a 37 hour week. This would have been well below the National Minimum Wage. I now understand that the 'hours to be worked' have been adjusted so that the Town is being offered a 'Part-time' rather than a 'Full-time' Manager."

"I asked that the whole recruitment process should be open and transparent. I received no satisfactory answer on this."

"I do regret having to take this step, but feel I have been left little choice in the matter."

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