The mayor of Arundel has resigned after disagreeing with fellow councillors about a new town manager role.
Councillor Wendy Eve resigned from Arundel Town Council following an extra-ordinary meeting earlier this month, in which the council voted by eight votes to two, with one abstention, to proceed to appoint an Arundel Town Manager.
Mrs Eve told the Observer and Gazette that she did not disagree with the creation of the role itself, but the way it was funded.
She said: “I feel the council has let residents down by saddling them with a huge bill [for a role] which is not going to be of any benefit to them.”
Mrs Eve had been an Arundel councillor for 36 years and this was the fifth time that she had been mayor.
A spokesman said the council had ‘accepted her resignation with regret’ and ‘thanked her for her sterling service to the town over so many years’.
The new role of town manager, for which the council had made budgetary provision in January 2020, has been designed to help the council pursue its goal to ‘work creatively and closely with the community to make Arundel a thriving town in which to live and work, and a great place to visit’.
One of their two main responsibilities will be to support voluntary groups who organise events in the town.
A spokesman said: “This task is particularly important in 2020 because there is a new £20,000 budget available, jointly funded by Arundel Town Council and Arun District Council, which is intended to help community organisations organise new events in the town.”
The second is to contribute to the economic sustainability of the town, encouraging ‘the kind of visitors who will most appreciate what Arundel has to offer and who will bring value to the town’.
This will include developing the appeal of the Arundel Farmer’s Market, for which the council will assume responsibility in April.
The Town Manager will also be exploring the many grants, large and small, that are available for regeneration initiatives in heritage towns, so that the Neighbourhood Plan can be properly implemented.
James Stewart, the former mayor of Arundel, who played a major part in preparing the 2018-2036 Neighbourhood Plan, said the appointment of a town manager was ‘an essential step’ in implementing the plan.
A full job description for the Town Manager position and information on how to apply will be posted on the Arundel Town Council website in the near future.