‘Position as only woman on Shepreth Parish Council was untenable’

Teresa Smith has resigned from Shepreth Parish Council.

Teresa Smith has resigned from Shepreth Parish Council. - Credit: Archant

A Shepreth parish councillor spectacularly resigned during a council meeting after stating her position had become ‘completely untenable’.

Teresa Smith resigned at the start of a monthly parish council meeting on Thursday.

She told her former colleagues that her resignation was due to the way a planning application for an anaerobic digestion plant at Fillcup Field, north of Meldreth Road, has been handled, but also cited concerns about ‘finances and other issues’.

Before official proceedings began at Shepreth Village Hall, Teresa said it was her opinion that the council dealt with the application in a way that ‘has left our community at a serious disadvantage’.

She said: “I still don’t understand why an extraordinary meeting wasn’t arranged as soon as the plans arrived as per the council’s standing orders.

“Because of this I asked for a public meeting to be called so that villagers could be informed. I am of the opinion that had I not pursued this, Shepreth residents would not have known about this major development.”

Teresa added that she had ‘various concerns’ about the way council business has been run over the last 10 months, which she highlighted in emails to the council. She said the emails she received in return were ‘less than gentlemanly’.

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She added: “My position as the only female parish councillor has become totally untenable and therefore I am taking the decision to resign with immediate effect.”

Teresa then left her seat before the meeting continued.

Speaking after the meeting, a Shepreth villager who didn’t want to be named said: “I think it’s a shame Teresa has left, she was brilliant. It’s like an old boys club without her.”

Shepreth county councillor Susan van de Ven said: “Teresa has always been a passionate advocate for Shepreth, and we need to persuade more women onto all of our councils.

“I have been impressed with Shepreth Parish Council’s care and professionalism in dealing with the Fillcup Field planning application, and their consistently open and inclusive manner.”

A spokeswoman for Shepreth Parish Council said: “We are sorry about the resignation of Teresa Smith and would like to thank her for her contribution to Shepreth Parish Council.”